Thursday, 30 June 2022

Juvenile Justice System in India

              Juvenile Justice System in India

Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 was passed by the Parliament of India in a very controversial environment where some of the provisions were opposed by the child rights fraternity. This law replaced Juvenile Delinquency law and Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000. It lays down that the juveniles who are in the age group of 16 to 18 and involved in heinous offences will be tried as adults. It also creates a universally accepted and accessible adoption law for India where it takes Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956. It is important here to note down that it does not replace it, only takes over that. It came into practice from 15 January 2016.

This Bill catered to many things. First, it included the concepts from the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in respect of Inter-Country Adoption which was not present in the earlier Act. It introduces the foster care in India where families can take up to take care of the orphaned and abandoned children. The families who will take up this position will be monitored and also receive financial aid from the State and in the line the children who are who are disabled or physically and financially incapable will be given priority.

With some provisions, this Bill was criticized also a lot by the critics. First in line was the provision of treating some juveniles as adults in a criminal case who are in the age group of 16 to 18. These juveniles are not protected absolutely and here is only the bone of contention. The critics argue that why this provision is present. Apart from this point, this bill is also criticized on the point of its prescribing an opaque Age Determination  System and its poor draft. There were many which is coming out after the implementation of the bill is taking place and that is why government is working on the amendments.

Once the Shashi Tharoor, a political member argued that this bill tends to break the international norms and standards. He believes that most of the juveniles who are involved in heinous offences come from the poor and uneducated families. They are not well aware of everything, not able to understand what is wrong and right and then tends to follow what sees or hears or thought. In this case, they are not at fault rather than it is their surrounding which is influencing them to do so. Here, if they get punishment it will be wrong as they have not done something intentionally or by heart. It has all been done because there was no education and the guardians was also so poor that they cannot do anything in this regard. Rather than giving punishment, they should be educated so that they cannot do something in the future and understand the seriousness of the act before doing it.

Therefore, I feel that it is not true in all the cases. Sometimes, juveniles do understand the seriousness and nature but still commit it and think that they will be no repercussions. And as long as the point of education and intention is present, the provision is that trial will take place in Criminal Court and as an adult not that the juvenile will be mandatorily punished. If any loophole will be present then the judges will act accordingly so there should be no fear.

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