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CHILDLINE India Foundation - JJ Act - Features

CHILDLINE 1098 SERVICE » Strategic Policy Initiative » JJ-Act » Salient Features Of Amended Juvenile Justice Act 2000
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Salient Features Of Amended Juvenile Justice Act 2000

CHILDLINE India Foundation - JJ Act - Features Download PDF CHILDLINE India Foundation - JJ Act - Features

The new bill is an improvement over the existing JJ Act, 1986. Many changes have been introduced within the existing Act without changing the Act altogether. The changes brought about the new Bill child friendly and more participatory. Some of the changes are highlighted below:

  1. The terms such as "Delinqent" and "Neglected' have been substituted with the term "Juvenile in conflict with the Law" and "Children in need of care and protection". Hence the title of the Bill has been given as the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of the Children) Bill.
  2. The preamble of the Bill has been expanded to take care of the development needs and rehabilitation by adopting a child friendly approach in the adjudication and disposition of the matter in the best interest of the children. The bill is based on
    • Constitutional provisions including clause (3) of article 15, clauses (e & f) of article 39,45, 47.
    • Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989
    • United Nations Standards Minimum Rule for Admininstration of Juvenile Justice, 1985 (Beijing rules)
    • United Nations rules for protection of Juvenile deprived of their liberty, 1980.
  3. The competent authority for dealing with the Juvenile in conflict with the law has been termed as Juvenile Justice Board and that of children in need of care and protection as Juvenile Welfare Committee. The Board is vested with Magisterial powers as it deals with children who have not committed any offence.
  4. The Bill provides grounds for termination of a member of the Board as well as the Committee.
  5. Qualification of a member to be appointed on the Board or the Committee has been specified to avoid the political nominee who generally do not have genuine interest in the field.
  6. It was suggested to make mandatory for all Homes to be open to visitors, social workers etc. to maintain transparency in its functioning. However this important aspect is missing in the Bill.
  7. Bill makes provision for the transfer of government run homes to NGOs.
  8. The social organisations and social workers or a child himself have been empowered to receive and produce the children before the Board and Committee, as a case may be beside the police.
  9. The provision of social auditing to monitor and to evaluate the Children Home through outside person and institution has been made.
  10. The Homes for Children in need of care and Protection have been converted into comprehensive Homes from where the restoration can take place as ispresently done in Observation Homes. The children not restored shall continue to live on till they attain the age of 18 years. This will be explicit in the model rules.
  11. Bill prescribes a uniform age of 18 years for both boys and girls.
  12. A new chapter (for rehabilitation and reintegration) has been added bringing in the adoption, foster care, sponsorship and linkage and coordination between social organisation into the fold of the Bill to provide alternative mode of rehabilitation.
  13. There is a provision for constituting central, state, district and city advisory boards consisting of member's from Panchayat, Zila Parishad, Municipal corporation and social workers etc. which is a new dimension for the local people participation.
  14. Efforts have been made to give the Bill, as much as possible, an independent legal status. The role of the state has also been minimized by vesting powers directly to local self-government, NGOs and social workers. The role of the State is limited to a facilitator rather than doer by involving voluntary sector and local bodies.
  15. The role of legal practitioners in the proceedings of the case was suggested to be eliminated. This is likely to be incorporated in the model rules.
  16. In the definition of children in need of care and protection, new categories like street children without any settled place or abode, children living with persons who are likely to be killed or abused, mentally or physically challenged or ill children or children suffering from terminal diseases or incurable diseases having no one to support or look after, abandoned children, likely to be grossly abused, tortured or exploited for the purpose of sexual abuse or illegal Act.
  17. Children vulnerable to Drug abuse and trafficking and children victim of armed conflict, civil commotion or natural calamity have been added.
  18. Special Juvenile Police Units with a humane approach through sensitisation and training of a Police personnel have been incorporated.
  19. The use of adversarial or accusatory vocabulary such as "Remand", "Accused", "Trial", "Prosecution", "Warrant", "Summons", "Conviction", "Inmates", "Court", etc. have been deleted in the new Act.
  20. In the two kinds of Homes under this Act, the Home for Children in need of care and protection is now open to media, since there is no stigma attached to these children and Homes. The Sec. 36 in the old JJ Act prohibiting the publication of photographs and the names of the children under inquiry shall now apply only to children who come in conflict with the law under the new Act.
  21. A provision for a fresh start/ new beginning for the juvenile/ child by ensuring erasure of records shall be made in the modal rules.
  22. A provision in the model rule shall be made for free legal aid rather than professional in attire pleading the juvenile case before the Board. This often leads to linger the prolonging of a case for years.
  23. The model rules shall also provide care and protection for foreign children before they are repatriated through procedural arrangements.
  24. Under the new Act, a speedy disposal of cases within 4 months has been assured.
  25. The new Act vests Magisterial Powers to the Committees, which shall function as the bench of the Magistrate. The individuals of the Committee however shall not have magisterial powers under the New Act.
  26. While individual members of the Committee or Board can grant permission to take/place the Child in safe custody but the final disposition shall have the signature of at least two members of the Committee/ Board as the case may be.
  27. Besides Children's Homes, provisions for a new kind of Homes called Shelter Homes, has been made in the Act. The shelter home shall function as Drop-in- Center for children in need of urgent support.
  28. The qualification of the individual to be eligible to be appointed as a member of the Board has been specified as having knowledge and training in child psychology and child welfare or a social worker have in seven years experience under the new Act. The same provisions are likely to be drawn for the members of the Committee under the model rules. This will help in avoiding political nominee.
  29. Provisions for five days in a week sitting of the Committee/Board shall be made under the model rules. This will draw only the committed and motivated person into theBoard Committee.
  30. A clause for the removal of a member of theBoard Committee has also been added to ensure proper functioning.

 

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