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Disha Dheeman, BALLB(H),3rd yr. SHRI RAMSWAROOP MEMORIAL UNIVERSITY
Children considered as innocent person in the earth. When major crimes committed against children including trafficking, rape, kidnapping, child labour, begging or any delinquency which affect the life of them, our society raises voice against shameful crimes. But what then, when such crimes are done by child himself?
Who are JUVENILES?
Person of very young age, underage or teenagers are called Juveniles. We can say that they are those who are still childish or immature. In legal terms a juvenile may be defined as a child who has not attained the age of majority. Sec 2(a) of the Act clearly define that a boy who has not attained the age of 16 years and a girl who is not attained the age of 18 years are juveniles.
The age group of juveniles in India was amended by the JUVENILE JUSTICE (CARE AND PROTECTION OF CHILDREN) ACT, 2000. This law brought new changes in accordance of the 1989 (UNCRC) UN CONVENTION ON THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD by repealing the earlier Juvenile Justice Act, 1986. This Act has been amended in 2006 and 2010 after Delhi gang rape case (Nirbhaya case, 16th December 2012). Further it was amended that the lowered juvenile age would be 16 from 18.1
The new law was enacted by the Parliament of India which is applicable to the whole of India except the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The motive of this Act to amend the law relating to juvenile in dispute with law and children for the care, protection and treatment of children or to remove the delinquency of juveniles in India. There are many cases like
Sampurna Behrua v. Union of India
Bachpan Bachao Andolan v. Union of India
Bachpan bachao andolan was founded by Kailash Satyarthi in 1980. Supreme Court of India continuously tried for the implementation of this law. Also, the government of India launched the (ICPS) Integrated Child Protection Scheme 2009 – 2010 just to improve the juvenile system.2
Background of JUVENILE JUSTICE in India
The Act Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 was amended in 2012 after Delhi gang rape case juvenile justice bill was passed on 7/05/2015 in the Lok sabha. It was decided that such heinous crimes committed by a child or by adult person on the basis of the S.C judgement, juvenile age turned down from 18 yrs to 16 yrs. Now according to Juvenile Board, 16 year will be taken as adult for juvenile crimes.
On 26th may 2016, Delhi high court said that there is no need of application for minor’s bail. It would be the judgement of juvenile justice board to decide till what time period the child has to be kept as juvenile.3
Before knowing the problems it is very important to know the reason behind the juvenile crimes. Why delinquency has been increased? This is all because of situations or circumstances like environment either inside of house or outside of house, socio-cultural environment, affect of societies including intoxications etc, abusive parents, poverty, family violence, sexual abuse of child and many more.
The number of juvenile offences in 2007 increased by 8.4% with 22,865 crimes registered during 2007. In 2014, 38,565 cases registered against juveniles. The cases on rise in Haryana, Punjab, Chandigarh, High court summoned the state govt to seek cases in this regard.4
No one born criminal, circumstances makes them. Therefore there should be reformation for the protection and care of the children by including effective administrative of justice regarding juveniles’ offences. There must be the power of courts are being exercised by other authority who may have special knowledge of child psychology and child welfare by counselling etc. Also, there should be child welfare foundation or development policies.
It is believed that possibility of server punishment and explaining them the negative aspect of the crimes, through economic sector development programme, NGOs are the basic areas which can prevent the juvenile delinquency in India.
Defendants under the age of 18 yrs are sent to the juvenile court. The judges of juvenile court regulate that if violation of criminal law has been done then he may ordered for the custody. There may be custody options for the juvenile like-
- Juvenile hall (juvenile detention centre)
- Placement with someone who is not parent or guardian.
- Home confinement (including exceptions as counselling visit, schools etc)
- State prison or adult country jail
- Blended sentence (before transfer to adult jail, juvenile facility till 18 yrs)
If the grounds of offences are more serious at 14 yrs age like: rape case, 1st degree murder case and offences of forcible sex, pornography etc then juveniles can also face adult criminal penalties.5 More punishments except imprisonment as:
- Simply verbal warning by judge.
- Probation etc.
Control of delinquency needs effective implementations, plans and programs with public awareness, proper training and orientation etc. Sending jail is not only sufficient in spite of doing this they need guidance, support, advices and help on the best level.
They learn everything from adults, from those who takes drugs, from those who makes bomb, so if they send to the jail they will lean the same or they will become like them. Getting punishments means killing of their spirit and hopes. They are future of our nation, save them, so they can make their nation best.
“ A kid need is a little help, a little hope and someone who believes in them.”
Legal News Reporter