Juvenile Justice System: Civil Services Mentor Magazine - December - 2014


The word ‘juvenile’ originatesfrom Latin word ‘juvenis’, which means young. In justice system it is believed that Juvenile needs special care because of their tender age and underdeveloped mind. Juvenile justice system is to protect all the children, while looking into the difference of thinking and maturity they have. Juvenile justice system is an offshoot of criminal justice system. The Criminal Justice System (CJS) is a system which decide the rules for society and also provide the sanctions when behavior is deterrent towards the social fabric. Juvenile justice system look into the special circumstances which juvenile faces and decide the deterrent towards wrong doing accordingly.

Juvenile justice act(JJA) which came into force in 2000 is applicable to whole of India.Child under JJA is defined as anyone below the age of 18 years. This legislation came in order to make India coherent with the legislation passed in UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Indian penal code says that any child below the age of 7 cannot be charged under any crime because they cannot form their own opinion. And in between 7 to 12 years of age it is to be tested that have they developed the mental capacity to form their own opinion. But after Juvenile justice act all children below the age of 18 cannot be punished but only measures to improve their behavior can be taken.

Provisions of the act :-

Under this act separate judicial system named as Juvenile Justice board (JJB)have been created and only they have the authority to deal with children. Juvenile justice board has social workers as members along with magistrate. If JJB finds out that child has committed a crime their will not be any punishment attached he can only be send for community service or counseling or can be send to special home etc. A child dealt with by the JJB does not suffer any disqualification attached to conviction for an offence. Children Welfare Committee (CWC) was also created under the act in order to give children care and protection to those who needs it. CWC provides care for children who have been misplaced by violence, lost their parents etc. JJA have provisions for police station as well, every police station should have special cell to care of children and police officer dealing with children should take special training.

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