Lok Sabha on 7 May 2015 passed Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill 2014. The Bill clearly defines and classifies offences as petty, serious and heinous, and defines differentiated processes for each category.
The amendment bill has introduced a new provision that disallows the protection from disqualification in cases where a juvenile is tried and convicted under the adult system.
The bill will allow children in the 16-18 age group to be tried as adults if they commit heinous crimes.
The bill will replace the existing Juvenile Justice Act, 2000. The bill states that in case a heinous crime has been committed by a person in the age group of 16-18 years it will be examined by a Juvenile Justice Board to assess if the crime was committed as a child or as an adult.
The trial of the case will take place accordingly by the board which will consist of psychologists and social experts.
The bill also proposed to streamline adoption procedures for orphaned, abandoned and surrendered children by making mandatory registration of all institutions engaged in providing child care.
The bill proposes several rehabilitation and social integration measures for institutional and non- institutional children. It provides for sponsorship and foster care as completely new measures.
According to data from National Crime Records Bureau, crimes by juveniles in the age group of 16-18 years have increased, especially in certain categories of heinous crimes.
The number of murder cases against juveniles rose from 531 in 2002 to 1,007 in 2013. Similarly, cases of rape and assault with intent to outrage the modesty of women have gone up from 485 and 522 in 2002 to 1884 and 1424 in 2013 respectively.
In 2013, 933 cases of kidnapping and abduction were registered against juveniles, which was 704 in 2012. According to Women and Child Development Ministry, more than 250 civil society organisations, individuals and experts had given their comments on the draft Bill which were taken into consideration before giving it a final shape.
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What: Lok Sabha passed it
When: 7 May 2015