Brain Booster for UPSC & State PCS Examination (Topic: Amendments to the Juvenile Justice Act)

Brain Booster for UPSC & State PCS Examination

Current Affairs Brain Booster for UPSC & State PCS Examination

Topic: Amendments to the Juvenile Justice Act

Amendments to the Juvenile Justice Act

Why in News?

  • Recently, Union Cabinet has approved amendments to Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children Act) 2015, empowers District Magistrates (DMs) to issue adoption orders.


  • The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act was introduced and passed in Parliament in 2015 to replace the Juvenile Delinquency Law and the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children Act) 2000.
  • One of the main provisions of the new Act was allowing the trial of juveniles in conflict with law in the age group of 16-18 years as adults, in cases where the crimes were to be determined.
  • The nature of the crime, and whether the juvenile should be tried as a minor or a child, was to be determined by a Juvenile Justice Board.
  • This provision received an impetus after the 2012 Delhi gangrape in which one of the accused was just short of 18 years, and was therefore tried as a juvenile.
  • The Juvenile Justice Act divided the crimes into three different categories i.e. the petty offence, serious offences and heinous offences.

Key Amendments

  • Child victims of trafficking, drug abuse and those abandoned by their guardians will be included in the definition of "child in need of care" and protection under the amended law.
  • The amendments also include authorising district magistrate, additional district magistrate to issue adoption orders under Section 61 of the Juvenile Justice Act in order to ensure speedy disposal of cases and enhance accountability.
  • The district magistrates have been further empowered under the act to ensure its smooth implementation as well as garner synergised efforts in favour of children in distress conditions.
  • According to the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015, juveniles charged with heinous crimes and who would be between the ages of 16-18 years would be tried as adults and processed through the adult justice system. The amendment included for the first time the category of “serious crimes” differentiating it from heinous crimes, while retaining heinous crimes. Both heinous and serious crimes have also been clarified for the first time, removing any ambiguity.

Issues Related to Child Care

  • The amendment has been brought in based on a report filed by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) in 2018-19 in which the over 7,000 Child Care Institutions (or children’s homes) were surveyed and found that 1.5 per cent do not conform to rules and regulations of the Juvenile Justice Act and 29 per cent of them had major shortcomings in their management.
  • The NCPCR report also found that not a single Child Care Institution in the country was found to be 100 per cent compliant to the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act.
  • CCIs can be government-run, government-aided, privately run or run through government, private or foreign funding.
  • These institutions, while falling under the CWC and the state child protection units had very little oversight and monitoring. Even to receive a license, after an application was made, if the children’s home were to not receive a reply from the government within 3 months time, it would be “deemed registered’’ for a period of six months, even without government permission.
  • The new amendment ensures that this can no longer happen and that no new children’s home can be opened without the sanction of the DM.
  • DM’s are also responsible now for ensuring that CCIs falling in their district are following all norms and procedures.
  • The DM will also carry out background checks of CWC members, who are usually social welfare activists, including educational qualifications, as there is no such provision currently to check if a person has a case of girl child abuse against him.