Chapter I – Preliminary
Preamble – Preamble
An Act to consolidate and amend the law relating to juveniles in conflict with law and children in need of care and protection, by providing for proper care, protection and treatment by catering to their development needs, and by adopting a child-friendly approach in the adjudication and disposition of matters in the best interest of children and for their ultimate rehabilitation through various institutions established under this enactment.
WHEREAS the Constitution has, in several provisions, including clause (3) of article 15, clauses (e) and (f) of article 39, articles 45 and 47, impose on the State a primary responsibility of ensuring that all the needs of children are met and that their basic human rights are fully protected;
AND WHEREAS, the General Assembly of the United Nations has adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the 20th November, 1989;
AND WHEREAS, the Convention on the Rights of the Child has prescribed a set of standards to be adhered to by all State parties in securing the best interests of the child;
AND WHEREAS, the Convention on the Rights of the Child emphasises social reintegration of child victims, to the extent possible, without resorting to judicial proceedings;
AND WHEREAS, the Government of India has ratified the Convention on the 11th December, 1992.
AND WHEREAS, it is expedient to re-enact the existing law relating to juveniles bearing in mind the standards prescribed in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice, 1 85 (the Beijing Rules), the United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty (1990), and all other relevant international instruments.
BE it enacted by Parliament in the Fifty-first Year of the Republic of India as follows —
Section 1 – Short title, extent and commencement
- This Act may be called the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000.
- It extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
- It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint.
Section 2 – Definitions
In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—
- “advisory board” means a Central or a State advisory board or a district and city level advisory board, as the case may be, constituted under section 62;
- “begging” means-
- soliciting or receiving alms in a public place or entering into any private premises for the purpose of soliciting or receiving alms, whether under any pretence;
- exposing or exhibiting with the object of obtaining or extorting alms, any sore, wound, injury, deformity or disease, whether of himself or of any other person or of an animal;
- “Board” means a Juvenile Justice Board constituted under section 4;
- “child in need of care and protection” means a child-
- who is found without any home or settled place or abode and without any ostensible means of subsistence,
- who resides with a person (whether a guardian of the child or not) and such person-
- has threatened to kill or injure the child and there is a reasonable likelihood of the threat being carried out, or
- has killed, abused or neglected some other child or children and there is a reasonable likelihood of the child in question being killed, abused or neglected by that person,
- who is mentally or physically challenged or ill children or children suffering from terminal diseases or incurable diseases having no one to support or look after,
- who has a parent or guardian and such parent or guardian is unfit or incapacitated to exercise control over the child,
- who does not have parent and no one is willing to take care of or whose parents have abandoned him or who is missing and run away child and whose parents cannot be found after reasonable inquiry,
- who is being or is likely to be grossly abused, tortured or exploited for the purpose of sexual abuse or illegal acts,
- who is found vulnerable and is likely to be inducted into drug abuse or trafficking,
- who is being or is likely to be abused for unconscionable gains,
- who is victim of any armed conflict, civil commotion or natural calamity;
- “children’s home” means an institution established by a State Government or by voluntary organisation and certified by that Government under section 34;
- “Committee” means a Child Welfare Committee constituted under section 29;
- “competent authority” means in relation to children in need of care and protection a Committee and in relation to juveniles in conflict with law a Board;
- “fit institution” means a governmental or a registered non-governmental organisation or a voluntary organisation prepared to own the responsibility of a child and such organisation is found fit by the competent authority;
- “fit person” means a person, being a social worker or any other person, who is prepared to own the responsibility of a child and is found fit by the competent authority to receive and take care of the child;
- “guardian”, in relation to a child, means his natural guardian or any other person having the actual charge or control over the child and recognised by the competent authority as a guardian in course of proceedings before that authority;
- “juvenile” or “child” means a person who has not completed eighteenth year of age;
- “juvenile in conflict with law” means a juvenile who is alleged to have committed an offence;
- “local authority” means Panchayats at the village and Zila Parishad at the district level and shall also include a Municipal Committee or Corporation or a Cantonment Board or such other body legally entitled to function as local authority by the Government;
- “narcotic drug” and “psychotropic substance” shall have the meanings respectively assigned to them in the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (61 of 1985);
- “observation home” means a home established by a State Government or by a voluntary organisation and certified by that State Government under section 8 as an observation home for the juvenile in conflict with law;
- “offence” means an offence punishable under any law for the time being in force;
- “place of safety” means any place or institution (not being a police lock-up or jail), the person incharge of which is willing temporarily to receive and take care of the juvenile and which, in the opinion of the competent authority, may be a place of safety for the juvenile;
- “prescribed” means prescribed by rules made under this Act;
- “probation officer” means an officer appointed by the State Government as a probation officer under the Probation of Offenders Act, 1958 (20 of 1958);
- “public place” shall have the meaning assigned to it in the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 (104 of 1956);
- “shelter home” means a home or a drop-in-centre set up under section 37;
- “special home” means an institution established by a State Government or by a voluntary organisation and certified by that Government under section 9;
- “special juvenile police unit” means a unit of the police force of a State designated for handling of juveniles or children under section 63;
- “State Government”, in relation to a Union territory, means the Administrator of that Union territory appointed by the President under article 239 of the Constitution;
- all words and expressions used but not defined in this Act and defined in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974), shall have the meanings respectively assigned to them in that Code.
Section 3 – Continuation of inquiry in respect of juvenile who has ceased to be a juvenile
Where an inquiry has been initiated against a juvenile in conflict with law or a child in need of care and protection and during the course of such inquiry the juvenile or the child ceases to be such, then, notwithstanding anything contained in this Act or in any other law for the time being in force, the inquiry may be continued and orders may be made in respect of such person as if such person had continued to be a juvenile or a child.