JUVENILE JUSTICE ACT, 2015 (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – Polity)

News-CRUX-10     16th May 2024        

Context: The Supreme Court has attempted to plug significant gaps in the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act (JJA), 2015.

Juvenile Justice Act, 2015

  • About: It was enacted by Parliament to replace earlier legislation, including the Juvenile Delinquency Law and the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000.
  • Objective: To consolidate and amend the law relating to children alleged and found to be in conflict with law and children in need of care and protection. 

o By adopting a child-friendly approach in the adjudication and disposal of matters in the best interest of children.

  • Juvenile trial : The child is defined in the JJ Act, 2015 as a person who has not completed 18 years of age.

o Differentiated Trial:  According to Section 15(1) of the Act, in case of a heinous offence alleged to have been committed by a child age group of 16-18 years the Juvenile Justice Board “shall conduct a preliminary assessment.

  • Section 18 (3): The sole aim of preliminary assessment is to determine whether the child in the age of 16-18 years should be tried as an adult in case of heinous offence.
  • Role of JJ Board: The Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) is solely responsible for conducting preliminary assessment, which it must complete within three months from the date of first production of the child before it.
  • Punishment: It prescribes punishment for the various offences against children such as enhanced punishment for cruelty to children from six months to three years. 

o The selling or buying of children will be a punishable offence with imprisonment of five years.

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