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CHILDLINE India Foundation - JJ Act - Areas

CHILDLINE 1098 SERVICE » Strategic Policy Initiative » JJ-Act » Areas Of Concern Regarding The Juvenile Justice Act (GOI, 2000)


Areas Of Concern Regarding The Juvenile Justice Act (GOI, 2000)

The act fails to express the minimum age, below which the Act would not be applicable. The definition of juvenile delinquency provides very little scope for petty acts to be dealt within the community. There is no concept of parental responsibility. The education, training and recreation of children, who are in observation homes, have not been provided for. Besides, basic or school education, even higher education and training of these children should be considered in this Act. The Act fails to provide for procedural guarantees like right to counsel and right to speedy trial. The Act does not take into account the orders and directions of the supreme court and the various high courts relating to determination of the age of the child. It empowers the Juvenile Justice Board to give a child in adoption; even though, it is the Child Welfare Committee that deals with children in need of care and protection. The Act is silent on inter-country adoption. There is no linkage between the Juvenile Justice Act 2000 and the other legal provisions relating to children, for instance child labor, primary education, sexual abuse, adoption, disabilities and health.

Juvenile Justice is not taken up seriously

Many states have still not constituted adequate number of juvenile courts or juvenile welfare boards. There is a poor network of juvenile observation homes or receptioncum- classification centres. Even if, some observation homes or boards do exist, they are not manned by the kind of sensitive personnel envisaged under the JJA. Even today, juvenile justice thrives under the shadow of the adult criminal justice agencies and institutions (like the police). Moreover, the juvenile adjudicatory cadres are drawn from the pool of the magistrates from the state.

Things to be done

There is a need to introduce the concept of guardian or child's legal counsel or a social worker involved throughout the court proceedings in which children are involved. NGOs can pressurize the government for law reform. For successful compliance of Court orders, and to punish violators, monitoring bodies need to be set up, who should be given legal powers as well. One area where further action is required is that of providing a support person for children during the investigative process, courtroom appearance and after the trial is over, has much to commend itself, and would enable the child to have a single support person to help his/her navigate the entire process.

Status of Juvenile Justice Act (GOI, 2000)

The implementation of The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act of 2000 remains incomplete, till date. The enactment of any legislation does not guarantee its enforcement. Implementation has to be taken care of, by the government, as well as by professional and social agencies.