All about Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2015


The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill, 2015 was passed by Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha amid great controversy, debate and protest for many of its provisions. There are provisions for both children in need of care and protection and children in conflict with law. It permits juveniles in conflict with Law from age of 16 to 18 and involved in heinous offences will be tried as adults.

Actually, children are most precious for our society. They are the future of the country. Children specially in India face many kinds of abuses and they do not get opportunity to express them. They have right to survival and right to freedom of thought. A child has protection rights from several kinds of abuses and exploitation. Unfortunately, in India several children are neglected and abused. Reasons are broken families, improper nurture, and lack of parental control. That’s why there is a need for proper care and protection. If they will be punished like adults and face abuse day by day then there is possibility for them to turning into hardened criminals. That’s why there is a need for proper Juvenile Justice System in our country.

 If we go through our constitution then we will find it clearly states in Section 82 of IPC, “Nothing is an offence which is done by a child under seven years of age.” According to Section 27 of CrPC, offence committed by a juvenile below 16 years of age, should be dealt with such legislation which can provide them treatment, training, communicate good social values and rehabilitation. The new law directs the courts not to keep child in police lock-up. Observation homes shall take care of the children in conflict with the law when proceedings are pending. The institutional treatment, will be provided in special homes established under the Act.

The Juvenile Justice Board consists of psychologists and social workers and they will decide whether a juvenile criminal in the age group of 16-18 should be treated as an adult or not. All state governments shall constitute Juvenile Justice Board in every district. The board must consist of a Metropolitan Magistrate or Judicial Magistrate with 3 years of experience and 2 social workers, between them least one shall be a woman. They must have knowledge of child psychology and child welfare to discharge their duties. There are provision for Child Welfare Committee, which will be an autonomous body and declared as a competent authority to deal with children in need of care and protection. Section 27 of Chapter V of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 directs to form a Child Welfare Committee. It is mandatory to form Child Welfare Committees in each and every district. This committee will consist of a Chairperson and other four members, at least one of whom should be a woman and the others should be experts on matters that are related to children.

The law deals with two categories of children. They are –

1.      Children in conflict with the law

2.     Children in need of care and protection

For heinous crimes, children between the ages of 16 and 18 can be tried as adults after thorough assessment of the crime by the Juvenile Justice Board. After committing the crime, a child in conflict with the law will be temporarily sent to an observation home. After completion of investigation the child will be placed in a special home, if convicted an offence as per the Juvenile Justice Board. The Juvenile Justice Board in a district will conduct regular inspection of jails in its jusrisdiction. They will check if any child is kept in such jails which do not have the prescribed standard, then they can take immediate measures for transfer the child to the Observation Home.

Child in need for care and protection will have to be produced before the Child Welfare Committee within 24 hours. It is compulsory to report for a child found separated from his/her biological guardian. Non reporting will be treated as offence. The Child Welfare Committee will send the child to the appropriate Child Care Institution and direct a Social Workers, Case Workers or the Child Welfare Officers to conduct the social investigation. The Child Welfare Committees shall meet at least in 20 days in a month. The District Magistrate will conduct review of the functioning of the Child Welfare Committee and recommend changes as per his assessment.

Now it comes to Institutional and Non-Institutional care for children in conflict with law and children in need, care and protection. Under this act Children Home, Open Shelter, Observation Home and Special Homes come under institutional care. Observation Homes are for temporary reception, care & rehabilitation during the pendency of any enquiry for alleged conflict with law. A child placed in observation home should not exceed four months. On the other hand, Special Homes are for rehabilitation for children in conflict with law, those who are found to have committed any offence. So, after enquiry, children are placed in Special Homes by the order of the Juvenile Justice Board. Children can not be placed in Special Homes more than three years. The ultimate goal is rehabilitation of juveniles who are in conflict with law.

Children homes are for those children who need care and protection. Children receive all services necessary for their overall development up to eighteen years of age. Services include food, clothing, shelter with medical and psychiatric treatment. On the other hand shelter homes are homes which provide children opportunity to play and engage in creative activities like music, dance, theatre, yoga and meditation, computers, indoor and outdoor games. These activities are conducted for all round growth and development of a children. The aim is to keep the children away from socially deviant behaviors.

Foster care is a non-institutional provision. Mainly homeless, abandoned, neglected and deprived children are taken to foster care. In place of biological parents, a child is placed to foster parents for their care and support. A foster care home provides a child parental care and emotional support. Whereas, Adoption is another non-institutional measure as per Section 2(2) of the Juvenile Justice Act of 2015. Adoption is a process where the adopted child becomes permanently separated from his/her biological parents. They become the legal child of the parents who have adopted him with all rights.

Latest Amendments

·                New amendment have provision for juveniles in conflict with law in the age group of 16-18 years will be treated as adults after judging the nature of the crime. This provision in included after the 2012 Delhi gangrape. One of the accused there was just short of 18 years, for that reason he was tried as a juvenile.

·        The other provision was on adoption. The aim was to create more acceptable adoption law in place of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act (1956) and Guardians of the Ward Act (1890). Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) became a statutory body to perform its function more effectively for cases of adoption related to children who are orphans, abandoned and surrendered.

·       District magistrates (Collectors) along with additional district magistrates will monitor and evaluate the functioning of various agencies under the JJ Act falls under its jurisdiction. These agencies include the Child Welfare Committees and the Juvenile Justice Boards etc. As per the new amendment no new children’s home can be opened without permission of the District Magistrate. The District Magistrate also have to conduct background checks of Child Welfare Committee members.

Share on Social Media Platforms
Notify of
1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
9 months ago

Great Article