The first central legislation on Juvenile Justice was passed in 1986, by the Union Parliament, providing a uniform law on juvenile justice for the entire country. Prior to this law each state had its own enactment on juvenile justice with there being differences in the way juveniles were treated by different state legal systems. The Juvenile Justice Act was thus passed to provide care, protection, treatment, development and rehabilitation of neglected or delinquent juveniles and for the settlement of certain matters related to and disposition of delinquent juveniles There are certain guiding principles which need to be adhered to in the administration of juvenile justice and they form the basis on which the Act and the Rules are formed. The juvenile justice functionaries should abide by the following fundamental principles in order to understand the Act, interpret according to the situation in which the child is taken into custody and most importantly contribute to better and effective implementation of the Act. They are basically drawn from all the national and international standards pertaining to children wherein a strong impetus is given to the fulfillment and protection of the child’s rights. Emphasis is also laid on reintegration of the child into the family system to ensure proper care and protection from all kinds of exploitative situations Principles to be followed in administration of the rules:
- Principle of presumption of innocence
- Principle of dignity and worth
- Principle of Right to be heard:
- Principle of Best Interest:
- Principle of family responsibility:
- Principle of Safety (no harm, no abuse, no neglect, no exploitation and no maltreatment): - Positive measures to promote well being of the child, reduce vulnerabilities and aim at development of child’s identity : - Principle of non-stigmatizing semantics, decisions and actions: - Principle of non-waiver of rights:
- Principle of equality and non-discrimination:
- Principle of right to privacy and confidentiality:
- Principle of last resort:
- Principle of repatriation and restoration:
- Principle of Fresh Start
When these principles are adhered to in letter and spirit, it would certainly ensure that every child who comes into contact with the JJ System is assured safety, care, protection and justice. History of Juvenile Justice Legislations in India since 1986 and their specific provisions: 1. Juvenile Justice Act 1986
JJ Act was enacted in pursuance of the Beijing Rules 1985, prior to the CRC Definition of juvenile or child – 16 years for boys and 18 years for girls Children were categorized as delinquent juveniles and neglected juveniles Both categories of children were kept in an Observation Home together pending inquiry Juvenile Welfare Board was formed to deal with the neglected juveniles and the Juvenile Court was the adjudicating authority for the delinquent juvenile The neglected juveniles were in the Juvenile Home and the delinquent juveniles to the Special Home The Government of India ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1992 thereby making it expedient to adhere to the standards prescribed in the Convention. Hence, the 1986 JJ Act had to be reviewed and changes had to be made in order to secure the best interest of the child and focus on social re-integration of the child without resorting to judicial proceedings.
The JJ Act 1986 was repealed and the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2000 was passed taking into consideration all the International standards prescribed as per the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice, 1985 (Beijing Rules), The UN Guidelines for the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency called the Riyadh Guidelines, 1990 and the United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty (1990)
2. The Juvenile Justice...