Juvenile Act protects children

A speedy inquiry, the possibility of early bail or stay in an observation home and then, confinement in a special home instead of a jail, if convicted — these are guaranteed to the 15-year-old schoolboy who allegedly stabbed his teacher in the school earlier this week.

Thanks to the salutary provisions of the juvenile justice law in the country, children in conflict with the law are now assured of some better treatment than adult offenders in the criminal justice system.

The idea is to make the process as fast as possible so that the disposal is announced soon and the reformative action can start immediately, says S. Kannayiram, former field officer with the Department of Social Defence. The principles contained in the UN Convention, the Rights of the Child have been given effect to in the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2000, say lawyers and experts on the subject.

According to the provisions of the Act aimed at protecting children, defined as anyone below 18 years of age, bail should be granted to suspected offenders regardless of the nature of the offence and they can be released even without surety. “Once the child is apprehended, he/she is either released on bail or produced before the juvenile justice board. They can be advised, admonished, counselled, ordered to do community service, and in worst case sent to special homes,” says Mr. Kannayiram......Read More

Source: The Hindu

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