Juvenile Justice Act 2015 Suggests Children Aged Between 16 And 18 Should Not Be Handcuffed

26/05/2016 10:57 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:27 AM IST
Adnan Abidi / Reuters
India’s Women and Child Welfare minister Maneka Gandhi, works on a computer before an interview with Reuters at her office in New Delhi, India, October 19, 2015. India's main program to fight child malnutrition has been hit by budget cuts that make it difficult to pay wages of millions of health workers, a cabinet minister said on Monday in a rare public criticism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's policies. Gandhi, the women and child welfare minister who oversees a scheme to feed more than 100 million poor people, said the current budget was only enough to pay salaries of her 2.7 million health workers until January. "We still have problems because our cut has still not been restored. Literally, it's a month-to-month suspense on whether we can meet wages," Gandhi told Reuters in an interview. To match interview INDIA-HEALTH/MALNUTRITION REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

NEW DELHI -- No child between 16 and 18 years of age in conflict with law will be handcuffed or sent to jail or lock-up, according to the draft rules of Juvenile Justice Act 2015 that was released yesterday.

The rules that were released by Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi prescribe detailed child friendly procedures for police, Juvenile Justice Board and Children's court to deal with children in conflict with law.

According to the draft rules, proper medical and legal aid will be provided to juvenile criminals and their parents and guardians will be duly informed.

"The Board and the Children's Court are to adhere to the principle of best interest of the child and the objective of rehabilitation and reintegration of child in the society," Gandhi said, after releasing the draft rules.

According to the rules, every state government is required to set up at least one 'place of safety' for the rehabilitation of such children. The rules prescribe for extensive services to be provided to such children through regular monitoring.

The rules were drafted by a multi-disciplinary committee comprising a senior judge and advocates, members of Juvenile Justice Board and Child Welfare Committee, representatives of state governments, mental health experts and civil society members.

Several new offences against children have also been included in the Act such as sale and procurement of children for any purpose, corporal punishment in child care institutions, use of child by militant or adult groups, giving children intoxicating liquor or narcotic drug or psychotropic substance or tobacco products.

It also prescribes detailed procedures for determination of age. The JJB or Juvenile Justice Committee will determine the age of the child within 30 days from date of submission of application.

"Wherever medical opinion is required, same will be sought from a duly constituted medical board for which all government hospitals will constitute medical boards on permanent basis. Where medical boards give a range of age, the age of the child on lower side will be considered in order to give benefit to the child," the official said.

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