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Child Rights & Juvenile

Prayas Institute of Juvenile Justice
59, Tughlakabad Institutional Area
New Delhi-110062
Telefax: 011-29955505, 29956244
Who is a Child?
• According to the UN Convention on Child Rights and
Juvenile Justice Act, a child is someone who is less than
18 years of age.

• Child Rights are fundamental freedoms and the inherent
rights of all human beings below the age of 18. These
rights apply to every child, irrespective of the child's,
parent's / legal guardian's race, colour, sex, creed or
other status.
Child Rights
• In 1992, India ratified the United Nations Convention on
Rights of the Child. The Charter of Child Rights (CRC) is built
on the principle that "ALL children are born with fundamental
freedoms and ALL human beings have some inherent rights".
The Charter confers the following basic rights on all children
across the world:
• The right to survival - to life, health, nutrition, name and
• The right to development - to education, care, leisure,
• The right to protection - from exploitation, abuse, neglect
• The right to participation - to expression, information,
thought and religion
Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection
of Children) Act 2000

The  Juvenile  Justice  (Care  &  Protection  of  Children) 

Act, 2000 is a comprehensive legislation to provide:





An  Act  to  consolidate  and  amend  the  law  relating  to   
juvenile  in    conflict  with  law    and    child  in  need  of 
care and protection, by providing for: 


 catering to their development needs, 
 adopting a child­friendly approach


 in the best interest of children 
 for their rehabilitation
– (a) Child in need of care and protection means a child
– who is-
» Homeless
» Having incapacitate parent
» Abandoned, missing or run away
» Victim of natural calamities
» Victim of armed conflict
» Victim of civil commotion
» Victim of sexual abuse
» Mentally or physically challenged
» Mentally or physically ill
» Suffering with terminal diseases
» AIDS/HIV affected
» Drug abused or trafficked

• (b) Juvenile in conflict is a juvenile who is alleged to have

committed an offence. This category also includes child
victims of crime






Legal Issues Dealing with Children
• Under the Act, a child is defined as a person below the age of 18
years. UNCRC also lists down certain Articles for children:
• Article 2 (2): Protection against all forms of discrimination or
• Article 3: Protect the best interests of children
• Article 19: Protect children from all forms of physical or mental
violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, mal-
treatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse while in the care
of parents, legal guardians or any other person in whose care
they are.
• Article 25: Protection of the physical and mental health of the
• Article 33: Protection from illicit use of narcotic drugs and
psychotropic substances
• Article34: Undertake to protect children from all forms of sexual
exploitation and sexual abuse.
• Article 35: Take all appropriate national, bilateral and multi-lateral
measures to prevent the abduction of, sale of or traffic in children for
any purpose or in any form.
• Article 36: Protection from all forms of exploitation prejudicial to any
aspect of child’s welfare

The Indian Constitution also lists down certain provisions:

• Article 14: The State shall not deny to any person equality before
the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India
• Article 15: The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on
grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, and place of birth or any of
• Article 15(3): Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from
making any special provision for women and children.
• Article 19(1) (a): All citizens shall have the right (a) to freedom of
speech and expression;
• Article 21: No person shall be deprived of his / her life or personal
liberty except according to procedure established by law.
• Article 23: Traffic in human beings and beggary and other forms of
forced labor are prohibited and any contravention of this provision
shall be an offence punishable in accordance with the law.
• Article 24: No child below the age of fourteen years shall be
employed to work in any factory or mine or engaged in any other
hazardous employment.
• Article 38: The state shall strive to promote the welfare of the
people by securing and protecting as effectively as it may a social
order in which justice, social, economic and political, shall inform all
the institutions of the national life.
• Article 39: The state shall, in particular, direct its policy towards
• (e) that the health and strength of workers, men and
women, and the tender age of children are not abused
and that citizens are not forced by economic necessity to
enter avocations unsuited to their age or strength and
• (f) that children are given opportunities and facilities to
develop in a healthy manner and in conditions of
freedom and dignity and that childhood and youth are
protected against exploitation and against moral and
material abandonment.
• Article 45: The State shall endeavor to provide, within a
period of ten years from the commencement of this
Constitution, for free and compulsory education for all
children until they complete the age of fourteen years.
Provision for free and compulsory education for children
Some key Provisions of the JJ Act
Section 4 : Juvenile Justice Board
Section 29 : Child Welfare Committee
Section 63 : Special Juvenile Police Unit
Section 8 & 9 : Observation Home and Special Home
Section 37& 44 : Children’s Home and Shelter Home
Section 61 : Juvenile Justice Fund
Section 62 : State Advisory Board
Section 62 A : Constitution of Child Protection Unit
Section 41 : Adoption
Section 42 :Foster care
Section 43 : Sponsorship

• By designated police officer or by

• Special juvenile police
• Social worker
• Public servant
• Public spirited citizen
• Child himself
• Childline
• Voluntary organization
• The child has to be produced before the child welfare committee
within 24 hours
• By special juvenile police
• By designated Police officer or
Juvenile Child Welfare officer
• By a voluntary organization
• The juvenile must be produced
• On apprehension, police must inform
the parents and the probation officer
Important Sections in the Act
• 23. Punishment for cruelty to juvenile or child.- Whoever,
having the actual charge of, or control over, a juvenile or
the child, assaults, abandons, exposes or wilfully
neglects the juvenile or causes or procures him to be
assaulted, abandoned, exposed or neglected in a
manner likely to cause such juvenile or the child
unnecessary mental or physical suffering shall be
punishable with imprisonment for a team which may
extend to six months, or fine, or with both.
• 24. Employment of juvenile or child for begging.-(1)
Whoever employs or uses any juvenile or the child for
the purpose or causes any juvenile to beg shall be
punishable with imprisonment for a term which may
extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine.
• 25. Penalty for giving intoxicating liquor or narcotic drug or
psychotropic substance to juvenile or child.- Whoever gives, or
causes to be given, to any juvenile or the child any intoxicating
liquor in a public place or any narcotic drug or psychotropic
substance except upon the order of duly qualified medical
practitioner or in case of sickness shall be punishable with
imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and shall
be liable to fine.
• 26. Exploitation of juvenile or child employee.- Whoever ostensibly
procures a juvenile or the child for the purpose of any hazardous
employment keeps him in bondage and withholds his earnings or
uses such earning for his own purposes shall be punishable with
imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and shall
be liable to fine.
• 27. Special offences.- The offences punishable under sections 23,
24, 25 and 26 shall be cognizable.
• 28. Alternative punishment.- Where an act or omission constitute an
offence punishable under this Act and also under any other Central
or State Act, then, notwithstanding anything contained in any law for
the time being in force, the offender found guilty of such offences
shall be liable to punishment only under such Act as provides for
punishment which is greater in degree.

 Setting of special juvenile police unit in  every police station
 Police officers to be instructed and trained in child issues
 Handcuff of juvenile/child prohibited 
 Child / Juvenile can’t  be kept in jail or lock­up

 Special juvenile police to produce juvenile before juvenile justice  board 
 Police officer may hand over the juvenile to VO 
 Produce the juvenile before the JJB
 Juvenile must be produced immediately before the JJB
 Police must inform the parents of arrest of the juvenile

 Special juvenile police  to produce the 
 Child in need of care and protection before the child welfare committee
• According to Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of
Children) Rules 2007, in cases where the punishment is
below 7 years, a police officer cannot file an FIR and can
only make a DD entry.
• The police should prepare a Social Background Report
(SBR) of the children and submit it to the JJB along with
all other documents e.g. DD entry, a report on the
circumstances of apprehension, school certificate of the
children if any, report of informing parents of the children
if any, report of informing the Probation Officer (PO) if
any etc
• After the DD entry, as per the Juvenile Justice (Care and
Protection of Children) Rules 2007, the police could hand
over the children to their parents and ask them to bring
the children to the JJB on the day the police would
produce all documents before the JJB.
• Ideally, since the law requires the police to produce such
children before the JJB within 24 hours of apprehension,
in cases with punishment of less than 7 years, they
should produce all the paper work (at least the DD entry)
before the JJB within 24 hours of the matter coming to
their notice and seek a time from the JJB for preparing
the SBR.
• The JJB would subsequently call the children as and
when required.
• Another possibility is to let the children be in the police
station, but not in a lock up, along with their parents till
such time that they are produced before the JJB, within
24 hours.
• If the children are homeless then the police should
mention this fact clearly in the Social Background Report
(SBR) of the children and take them to the Observation
Home for Boys (OHB). Similarly, if their parents are not
willing to take the custody of their children, the police
could take them to the OHB and then produce them
before the JJB the next day, within 24 hours.
• As per law, a child in conflict with law can be produced
before a single member of the JJB. If a member is
physically unavailable, the police can inform them over
the phone and seek necessary orders or directions.
• There are no link Magistrates attached to the JJBs.
Hence it sometimes becomes difficult for police to decide
on the course of action. If the JJB is not sitting or a
member of the JJB is not available, the police should
produce the child before a regular Metropolitan
Magistrate / Duty Magistrate with a detailed report on
circumstances of apprehension and seek orders for
placement of a child in the OHB till such time that the
child is produced before the JJB or a member of the JJB.
• According to sub-Rule (9) of Rule 11, there shall be no
FIR in matters involving punishment of less than seven.
Since the police will be required to file a Final Report,
canceling the FIR, there is no question of filing a charge
• On the issue of charge sheet in matters involving
punishment of seven or more years, the Cr.PC shall
invariable apply. Since the JJBs are required to complete
all inquiries within four months, by way of practice, they
have been asking the police to file the charge sheet
within 60 days in matters involving children. If it is not
possible for a police officer to file a charge sheet within
this time, he can file an application in the JJB with a
written explanation for seeking more time.
Some Important Do’s and Don'ts
for Police
• Juveniles in need of care and protection.
• The police control room must be informed.
• Physical needs of the juvenile, like hunger or thirst or the need to
go to toilet should be properly attended to.
• An entry in Daily Diary/ General Dairy should be made giving
particulars of the children and reasons for coming to the police.
• A report on the prescribed Performa must be sent to the Missing
Persons Squad through District Missing Persons Unit.
• Women police must accompany a girl on being produced before
the Committee.
• If the parent is known, the child is to be restored.
• The children shall not be kept in the Police station.
• While handling the juvenile in conflict with law, the following should be kept
in mind:-
• Physical needs of the juvenile, like hunger or thirst or the need to go to toilet
should be properly attended to.
• Extra care should be taken to create an impression when the juvenile is being
questioned that he is not being interrogated as a thief or as a liar but that effort is
being made to find out the truth in order to help him.
• The officer should not lose temper and make false promises.
• No bullying should be done during questioning.
• Display of sympathy and understanding so as to give the impression that the
police officer is mainly interested in the welfare or good of the juvenile.
• Enquiries from the juvenile should be in privacy and in a comfortable environment.
• It should be ensured that there is no distraction when the juvenile is being
• The parents and guardians may be allowed to be present when the juvenile is
being questioned.
• As far as possible, the juvenile should not be called to the police station but should
be questioned either at his own home or some other premises which does not give
too much of an official look.
• Care should be taken not to embarrass the juvenile. Girls should be handled by
Women Officers.
• Statement made by a juvenile should be verified from independent sources as
there is a possibility of exaggeration and distortion of facts.
• Information to parent, guardian or
probation officer
• The officer in-charge of the Police Station or
Juvenile Welfare Officer or the special juvenile
police unit shall inform the parent or guardian
of the juvenile, direct him to be present at the
Board /CWC.
• He shall in form the probation officer of such
juvenile to enable him to obtain information
regarding the juvenile’s family background.
• Determination of age.(Sec.49)(Rule-12)
• In case of doubt, the benefit of doubt shall be in favour
of the child in conflict with law for treating him/her as
• In order to collect age proof, efforts should be made to
collect his school certificate, municipal certificate, copy
of ration card etc.
• If no document is available, ossification test may be
conducted to ascertain the age.
• Age to be determined within a period of 30 days from
the date of application before the Committee.