Juvenile Justice in India


Juvenile is a person who is person who is minor that is who has not attained the age of majority which is 18 yrs as per Indian Minority act 1999.Juvenile laws are applicable to people who cannot be held responsible for the offences they made. In most of the countries the age of juvenile is up to 18yrs.

The main aim of the act is not to punish the juvenile but to rehabilitate. The law treats that a juvenile is a person incapable of committing a crime and he lack the very essence of Mens Ria i.e. the guilty mind.

Now let us understand the stages of framing a juvenile justice act. It was first in 1968 the congress passed the Juvenile delinquency Prevention and control act 1968 then in 1972 amendments were made to prevent children from going in delinquency and in order to overcome various flaws in these acts Juvenile justice (care and protection of children) act 2000 was passed and Acc to Sec 2(k) defines a juvenile to mean a person who has not completed 18yrs of age. And sec 2(l) says that a juvenile means a “child in conflict with law “ means to say a juvenile alleged of an offence but has not completed 18yrs of age on the date of offence so he cannot be punished as any other normal person so juvenile is termed as a child in conflict with law.

Doctrine of Parens Patraie authorizes state to protect children. This doctrine says that it is the duty of the government to look after all the people in the state especially those who are disable, especially children whose care is entrusted to the parents.

A juvenile is not tried for the offences in normal courts and nor they are kept in normal jails as they may get influenced by normal criminal so juvenile justice act has set up a board which consist of Metropolitan or judicial Magistrate, 2 social workers where one should be a women to try these cases and observation homes and special homes in every district or for group of districts have been set up to keep the juveniles. According to the act how much ever the punishment may be for the offence done a juvenile should not be kept in special homes for not more than 3yrs.

              When a police comes into contact with a Juvenile he should take them to special police units and bail can be granted so long as there is no danger or influence of criminals. Even after a juvenile is discharge the government takes up actions such as Follow up actions after discharge, keeps records of them, studies etc.

             These juveniles are not to be exposed to media, magazines etc.In the recent rape case in Delhi one of the accused was a juvenile so he was not given any grave punishment, keeping this in mind legislators thought to reduce the age of juvenile from 18yrs to 16yrs but this was opposed.

Further the rate of juvenile crimes in urban areas 1 much higher than in the rural areas which is revealed in noting that a large section of

the juvenile crimes occurs in the States of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh,

Gujarat, Assam where 32.5per cent, 16.6per cent, 12.9w r cent and 7.3

per cent respectively.

According to Dr. Rajesh Parikh, a psychiatrist at Jaslok Hospital

and at the Student Counselling Centre at St. Xavier’s Coilege Bombay,

economic security does not necessarily guarantee emotional security and

parents often end up ,meeting a child’s wants but not needs and that the

parents may be present in the home but not available to tile children. On

the other hand, in a broken home, a woman as a single parent may be as

effective as both parents. What matters is how much the parent cares. The

same may be true of the working mothers as against non-working


Ms. Shehaz Elavia, Director of above referred Xavier Centre

says, ‘Sometimes parents may be available to the children- but only to

impart knowledge rather than give the child of themselves, their values

and their beliefs’. While Dr. Sailesh Kapadia, a psycho analyst,

emphasises the importance of the relationship between the parents.

Where a good relationship exists between the parents, the child can ride

out the stress of adolescence. There is nothing like the emotional security

of a stable home. Another criminologist MS Pawar, lecturer in the

criminology department of Tata lnstitute of Social Studies said, ‘If the

family as controlling factor is lacking, children are more likely to violate

society’s norms’.

    According to Mrs Sanober Shekhar, reader in the department of

criminology and correctional administration, Tata Institute of Social

Studies at Bombay, adults are just not fulfilling the mediatory role between

childhood and adulthood that they are supposed to pay. ‘Schools have

become so commercialised that the perspective has changed from

personality development to academic performance Those who do not

perform or cheat become social rejects. Parents on their part, are too

busy in making money or socialising. The children find their own

emotional comforts among gangs of delinquent’, says Dr. Pritam

Phatnani, a forensic expert at Bombay.


As per above stated facts and the opinions of the experts it is society which is craving for this sort of a situation which has to be corrected.

By-Taruni Banda