JUVENILE JUSTICE (CARE & PROTECTION OF CHILDREN) ACT 2015: REVIEW
This article aims to study the provisions of the newly revised juvenile justice law. The key issue that this article is focusing on is whether it is based on the purpose of a comprehensive reform to eliminate the possibility of juvenile delinquency, as this article is based on the principles of transformation and rehabilitation of children that are initially considered innocent. It also seeks to understand whether it is possible to distinguish a minor’s intentions related to crime from the social environment, which helps to punish former offenders while considering the latter remedy.
Juvenile delinquency is nothing new. However, with the release of the 2014 Indian Crime Report, the issue became a problem in India, and from 2003 to 2014 the child crime rate increased from 1% to 1.2%. In fact, of all crimes committed by children in 2013, children 16-18 years old accounted for 66%, a 10% increase from the 2003 record (Indian Crime, 2014: 128-129). The Indian Parliament recently passed the Juvenile Justice (Child Protection and Protection) Act (JJ Act) on December 22, 2015 to amend the 2000 Youth Justice (Child Care and Protection) Act 2000.
Crime without paying attention to the intelligence of children. The bigger problem is that the debate about whether the human brain has fully developed before this age is becoming increasingly urgent, and why is it behind the threshold of an 18-year-old adult. Also, is the law comprehensive enough to eliminate the possibility of youth crime by focusing on the full rehabilitation of youth crime by providing psychological support and creating social conditions that can be integrated into society?
To understand these issues, it is necessary to position the law according to the circumstances in which it occurs and its consequences. This decree was passed in the context of releasing an infamous criminal in the December 2012 rape case in December 2012 on the pretext that he was under the age of 18 at the time of the crime and should be considered a youth under current law. A quarter of civil society violently protested the release of prisoners. The government issued a decree that directly responds to questions about the ability to exert the deterrent of current law, examining the possibility of redefining the content and scope of youth law.
Maneka Gandhi, Minister of Women and Children’s Development, referred to Parliament’s legal debate as a “comprehensive law” that included issues related to adoption and foster care (Rajya Sabha Debates, December 22, 2015: 60). She admits that the main point of the dispute is “If a young person is considered to commit a serious crime, he will try to reduce the youth from imprisonment to 18 years” (Rajya Sabha Debates, December 22, 2015: 60-61). To clarify the purpose of the verse, she gave two examples.
There was one child whose father was drunk, his father was beating his mother every day, and his mother and brother were suffering from smoking. One day the child retaliated against his father and killed him. In another case, a 16-year-old boy kidnapped a 7-year-old girl with medicine. She was detained in the field for three days and raped several times by these young boys. Maneka Gandhi argues that in both cases, unlike the current law in which the defendant will be released as a minor, the proposed rule in the second case is intentional and targeted for acts of violence (Rajya Sabha discussion, December 22, 2015: 61).
However, in her speech, the public’s expectations were evident, as she continued to comment on the news of the release of criminals in rape cases in Delhi. “The whole country is in a gloomy atmosphere. The girl’s parents are watching us…” shows an internal conflict to meet the needs of the public and to comply with the United Nations Children’s Convention. The rights decision reformed justice (Rajya Sabha Debates, December 2 2, 2015: 63-66).
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE ACT
Age Restriction: This law extends the age limit of adolescents to 18 years of age and introduces a new category of 16-18 years old. If you commit a crime, an adult may be convicted (more than 7 years under the Indian Penal Code) [JJ Act, Section 2 2 (33)].
Board of Directors and Committees: In accordance with the law in 1986, the Youth Welfare Committee and Youth Court were established. In 2000, the law skipped the establishment of special courts, but established the Youth Welfare Committee and the Child Welfare Committee. However, the 2015 law stipulates the establishment of three board members (Metropolis or Judicial Magistrate + 2 Social Workers) (JJ Act, Section 4) and the Child Welfare Commission (JJ Act). , Article 27), Activation of Children’s Courts in Various Regions (Article 25 of the Children’s Rights Committee in 2005; Article 28 of the Child Protection Act from Sexual Offenses in 2012). In the first two institutions, at least one female member is required, which is included in the 1986 and 2000 laws.
Adoption: The National Adoption Resources Bureau and the Central Adoption Resources Bureau have been established to oversee, supervise and formulate regulations on child adoption (JJ Act, sections 67-68). It also sets out standards for adoption by prospective parents that are not covered by previous legislation. This provision will help speed up the adoption process. Children’s Welfare Committee increases support for family visits
Childcare institutions: Unlike the 2000 law, childcare institution registration is in effect (JJ Act, Article 41).
Adhering to the spirit of juvenile justice reform and revival, the law continues to differentiate between “children who need protection and protection” and “children who break the law” (Article 2 of the Judiciary). The former includes disadvantaged children who need state support to become responsible citizens, and the latter are children who commit crimes. Statistics from the National Crime Record show that not all of these crimes were “intentionally committed” despite the increase in youth delinquency.
For example, the majority of children charged with crime claim to belong to an economically backward family with an annual income of ₹25,000 or less, and crime is theft, theft, etc. (Indian Crime, 2014: 132). Therefore, you can think that if a healthy atmosphere is provided for such children, they can grow into responsible citizens. As a result, the law includes provisions for adopting such children nationwide without adoptive parents (JJ Act, Article 36). To prevent child trafficking, the law guarantees more serious crimes against people who give drugs to children. Indeed, the punishment in this case is more serious compared to an individual’s attack (JJ Act, sections 76-78). In addition, if a family transfers a child due to adverse conditions, the statute extends the adoption time from 1 month to 2 months, and from 2 months to 2 months in the originally submitted legislation.
Held in August 2014 at Lok Sabha [JJ Act, Part II 36 (3)]. However, these changes are based on the assumption that family atmosphere is the most favourable atmosphere for children’s growth. 80.2% of crimes reported by national criminal records do not take into account the facts committed by children with family members (Indian Crimes, 2014: 132). In this case, this statute should not overemphasize the family as a mechanical unit to combat child crime, and should use the family as a repository for the child’s feelings and overall development. This requires state intervention to provide access to resources for families with scarce resources, while counselling will help develop emotional ties within the family.
Efforts like this can help to reduce child crime and instil a sense of right and wrong, which can interfere with an attractive environment. Therefore, the scope of responsibility of the Child Welfare Committee can be expanded to conduct such arbitration when necessary. In addition, the current form of law seems to be retrograde, as the financial/sustainable support provided to children from time to time was one-time assistance until they left their child’s home at the age of 21. Unfortunately, this has caused a vicious cycle of poverty and poverty again, and as warned by the National Crime Record, this is one of the main causes of increased crime rates among young people.
In the “children in conflict” category, the government continues to define children under the age of 18 as the same benchmark, However, in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, we are considering discrimination against adults and children on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.. Children 16-18 years of age charged with severe crimes are treated differently. The standing parliamentary committee considered this provision a violation of the UNCRC because it created subcategories within the definition of youth. The UNCRC stated that signatories should treat all children under the age of 18 in the same way and not as adults. The 2000 law was promulgated to implement the UNCRC guidelines within India.
Current forms of legal amendment divide minor crimes into the following categories:
(I) Heinous Offences [at least seven years in prison under IPC (Indian Criminal Code) or other law]
(II) Serious crime (3-7 years imprisonment)
(III) Petty Offences (prison sentence of less than 3 years) (Article 7 of the JJ Act).
He insisted that youth detention cannot be imposed without the possibility of release or death. Under the new law, youth who violate the law may need to live in a special home or fitness facility for up to three years. However, if the crime is a serious crime regardless of the date of arrest, a minor in the 16-18-year-old group may be tried as an adult. Also, minors between the ages of 16 and 18 commit serious crimes and can be tried as adults if arrested after age 21.
This law attempts to resolve the loopholes in the previous statute by inserting this clause “whether or not arrested”. In addition, the Juvenile Judicial Council (JJB) will conduct a preliminary assessment of the physical and mental abilities of children to commit such crimes [JJ Act, Sec. 14 (3)] Even if the Commission gives him a clean report, he can still evade criminal liability (JJ Act, Article 17). If considered an adult, the Commission will refer the case to the Children’s Court [JJ Act, Sec. 18 (3)]. Even at this stage, the child court may refuse adult trials [JJ Act, Section 19(i)].
However, if the trial proceeds and is found guilty, it is sent to a safe place and sent to jail until it turns 21 [JJ Act, Sec. 19 (3)]. However, if a child’s court finds a particular improvement in the child, the child can be released at the age of 21 [JJ Act, Sec. 20 (2)]. Reform services such as counselling should be provided during the safe stay of the child. Courts must ensure regular follow-up reports from the District Child Protection Department (Article 40 of the JJ Act).
Obviously, the statute would (a) reform and restore youth’s mind by institutionalizing child care services; (b) Distinguish between adult and child trials carefully, and introduce “intentions” to liberate youth early. Despite this caution, the law violates Article 14 of the Indian Constitution by treating two people accused of the same crime differently. This should be understood by the defendant’s intention to use these means of protection. The statute first describes the age, then investigates the mental ability to oppose.
In some cases, people under 25 do not have an adult mindset, but children under 16 have a mature mindset and have a lot of experience in the real world (Rao and Krishnan, 2015). The parenting environment is important. The law does not limit the overall environment provided for the machine category of furniture, so it cannot provide a complete environment to prevent crime.
Author: Prakalp Shrivastava,
School of law, Jagran Lakecity University, Bhopal (M.P)