• Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000: Bare Act

  • 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 *[and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto].

    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, 1985 (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 following:-

    *[Modified vide Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Act, 2006, section 2]

    CHAPTER I: PRELIMINARY

    Section-1. Short title, extent, *[commencement and application].- (1) This Act may be called the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000.

    (2) It extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

    (3) It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint.

    (4) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, the provisions of this Act shall apply to all cases involving detention, prosecution, penalty or sentence of imprisonment of juveniles in conflict with law under such other law.

    *[title substituted and subsection (4) inserted vide Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Act, 2006, section 3]

    Section-2. Definitions.- In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,

    (a) "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;

    *[(aa) "adoption" means the process through which the adopted child is permanently separated from his biological parents and become the legitimate child of his adoptive parents with all the rights, privileges and responsibilities that are attached to the relationship.]

    (b) "begging" means -

    (i) 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;

    (ii) 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;

    (c) "Board" means a Juvenile Justice Board constituted under section 4;

    (d) "child in need of care and protection" means a child -

    (i) who is found without any home or settled place or abode and without any ostensible means of subsistence,

    *[(ia) who is found begging, or who is either a street child or a working child,][

    (ii) who resides with a person (whether a guardian of the child or not) and such person-

    (a) has threatened to kill or injure the child and there is a reasonable likelihood of the threat being carried out, or

    (b) 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.

    (iii) 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,

    (iv) who has a parent or guardian and such parent or guardian is unfit or incapacitated to exercise control over the child,

    (v) who does not have parent and no one is willing to take care of or whose parents have abandoned *[or surrendered] him or who is missing and run away child and whose parents cannot be found after reasonable inquiry,

    (vi) who is being or is likely to be grossly abused, tortured or exploited for the purpose of sexual abuse or illegal acts,

    (vii) who is found vulnerable and is likely to be inducted into drug abuse or trafficking,

    (viii) who is being or is likely to be abused for unconscionable gains.

    (ix) who is victim of any armed conflict civil commotion or natural calamity;

    (e) "children's home" means an institution established by a State Government or by voluntary organization and certified by that Government under section 34;

    (f) "Committee" means a Child Welfare Committee constituted under section 29;

    (g) "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;

    (h) "fit institution" means a governmental or a registered non-governmental organization or a voluntary organization prepared to own the responsibility of a child and such organization is found fit by the *[State Government on the recommendation of the competent authority;]

    (i) "fit persons" 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,

    (j) "guardian", in relation to a child, means his natural guardian or any other person having the actual charge or control over the child and recognized by the competent authority as a guardian in course of proceedings before that authority;

    (k) "juvenile" or "child" means a person who has not completed eighteenth year of age;

    *[(l) "juvenile in conflict with law" means a juvenile who is alleged to have committed an offence and has not completed eighteenth year of age as on the date of commission of such offence;]

    (m) Omitted vide Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Act, 2006, section 3

    (n) "narcotic drug" and "psychotropic substance" shall have the meaning respectively assigned to them in the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (61 of 1985);

    (o) "observation home" means a home established by a State Government or by a voluntary organization and certified by that State Government under section 8 as an observation home for the juvenile in conflict with law;

    (p) "offence" means an offence punishable under any law for the time being in force;

    (q) "place of safety" means any place or institution (not being a police lockup 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;

    (r) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act;

    (s) "probation officer" means an officer appointed by the State Government as a probation officer under the Probation of Offenders Act, 1958 (20 of 1958);

    (t) "public place" shall have the meaning assigned to it in the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 (104 of 1956);

    (u) "shelter home" means a home or a drop-in-center set up under section 37;

    (v) "special home" means an institution established by a State Government or by a voluntary organization and certified by that Government under section 9;

    (w) "special juvenile police unit" means a unit of the police force of a State designated for handling of juveniles or children under section 63;

    (x) "State Government" in relation to a Union territory, means the Administrator of the Union territory appointed by the President under article 239 of the Constitution;

    (y) 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 meaning respectively assigned to them in that Code.


    *[Subsections (aa), d(ia), (l) inserted and sub-section d(v) and (h) modified vide Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Act, 2006, section 4]

    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.

    CHAPTER II: JUVENILE IN CONFLICT WITH LAW

    Section-4. Juvenile Justice Board.- *[(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973,.(2 of 1974) the State Government may, within a period of one year from the date of commencement of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of 3 Children) Amendment Act, 2006, by notification in the Official Gazette, constitute for every district, one or more Juvenile Justice Boards for exercising the powers and discharging the duties conferred or imposed on such Boards in relation to juveniles in conflict with law under this Act.]

    (2) A Board shall consist of a Metropolitan Magistrate or a Judicial Magistrate of the first class, as the case may be, and two social workers of whom at least one shall be a woman, forming a Bench and every such Bench shall have the powers conferred by the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974) on a Metropolitan Magistrate or, as the case may be, a Judicial Magistrate of the first class and the Magistrate on the Board shall be designated as the principal Magistrate.

    (3) No Magistrate shall be appointed as a member of the Board unless he has special knowledge or training in child psychology or child welfare and no social worker shall be appointed as a member of the Board unless he has been actively involved in health, education, or welfare activities pertaining to children for at least seven years.

    (4) The term of office of the members of the Board and the manner in which such member may resign shall be such as may be prescribed.

    (5) The appointment of any member of the Board may be terminated after holding inquiry, by the State Government, if -

    (i) he has been found guilty of misuse of power vested under this Act,

    (ii) he has been convicted of an offence involving moral turpitude, and such conviction has not been reversed or has not been granted full pardon in respect of such offence.

    (iii) he fail to attend the proceedings of the Board for consecutive three months without any valid reason or he fails to attend less than three-fourth of the sittings in a year.

    *[substituted vide Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Act, 2006, section 6]

    Section-5. Procedure etc. in relation to Board.- (1) The Board shall meet at such times and shall observed such rules of procedure in regard to the transaction of business at its meetings, as may be prescribed.

    (2) A child in conflict with law may be produced before an individual member of the Board, when the Board is not sitting.

    (3) A Board may act notwithstanding the absence of any member of the Board, and no order made by the Board shall be invalid by reason only of the absence of any member during any stage of proceedings;

    Provided that there shall be at least two members including the principal Magistrate present at the time of final disposal of the case (4) In the event of any difference of opinion among the members of the Board in the interim or final disposition, the opinion of the majority shall prevail, but where there is no such majority, the opinion of the principal Magistrate shall prevail.

    Section-6. Powers of Juvenile Justice Board.- (1) Where a Board has been

    constituted for any district, such Board shall, notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force but save as otherwise expressly provided in this Act, have power to deal exclusively with all proceedings under this Act relating to juvenile in conflict with law.

    (2) The powers conferred on the Board by or under this Act may also be exercised by the High Court and the court of Session, when the proceedings comes before then in appeal, revision or otherwise.]

    *[Modified vide Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Act, 2006, section 7]

    Section-7. Procedure to be followed by a Magistrate not empowered under the Act.- (1) When any Magistrate not empowered to exercise the power of a Board under this Act is of the opinion that a person brought before his under any of the provisions of this Act (other than for the purpose of giving evidence), is a juvenile or the child, he shall without any delay record such opinion and forward the juvenile or the child and the record of the proceeding to the competent authority having jurisdiction over the proceeding.

    (2) the competent authority to which the proceeding is forwarded under sub-section

    (1) shall hold the inquiry as if the juvenile or the child has originally been brought before it.

    Section-8. Observation homes.- (1) Any State Government may establish and maintain either by itself or under an agreement with voluntary organizations, observation homes in every district or a group of district, as may be required for the temporary reception of any juvenile in conflict with law during the pendency of any inquiry regarding them under this Act.

    (2) Where the State Government is of opinion that any institution other than a home established or maintained under sub-section (1), is fit for the temporary reception of juvenile in conflict with law during the pendency of any inquiry regarding them under this Act, it may certify such institution as an observation home for the purpose of this Act.

    (3) The State Government may, by rules made under this Act, provide for the management of observation homes, including the standards and various types of services to be provided by them for rehabilitation and social integration of a juvenile and the circumstances under which, and the manner in which, the certification of an observation home may be granted or withdrawn.

    (4) Every juvenile who is not placed under the charge of parent or guardian and is sent to an observation home shall be initially kept in a reception unit of the observation home for preliminary inquiries, care and classification for juveniles according to his age group, such as seven to twelve years, giving due considerations to physical and mental status and degree of the offence committed, for further induction into observation home. 

    Section-9. Special homes.- (1) Any State Government may established and maintain either by itself or under an agreement with voluntary organizations, special homes in every district or a group of districts, as may be required for reception and rehabilitation of juvenile in conflict with law under this Act.

    (2) Where the State Government is of opinion that any institution other then a home established or maintained under sub-section (1), is fit for the reception of juvenile in conflict with law to be sent there under this Act, it may certify such institution as a special home for the purposes of this Act.

    (3) The State Government may, by rules made under this Act, provide for the management of special homes, including the standards and various types of service to be provided by them which are necessary for re-socialization of a juvenile, and the circumstances under which, and the manner in which, the certification of a special home may be granted or withdrawn.

    (4) The rules made under sub-section (3) may also provide for the classification and separation of juvenile in conflict with law on the basis of age and the nature of offences committed by them and his mental and physical status.

    Section-10. Apprehension of juvenile in conflict with law.- *[(1) As soon as a juvenile in conflict with law is apprehended by police, he shall be placed under the charge of the special juvenile police unit or the designated police officer, who shall produce the juvenile before the Board without any loss of time but within a period of twenty-four hours of his apprehension excluding the time necessary for the journey, from the place where the juvenile was apprehended, to the Board:

    Provided that in no case, a juvenile in conflict with law shall be placed in a police lockup or lodged in a jail.]

    (2) The State Government may make rules consistent with this Act, -

    (i) to provide for persons through whom (including registered voluntary organizations) any juvenile in conflict with law may be produced before the Board;

    (ii) to provide the manner in which such juvenile may be sent to an observation home.

    *[Substituted vide Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Act, 2006, section 9]

    Section-11. Control of custodian over juvenile.- Any person in whose charge a juvenile is placed in pursuance of this Act shall, while the order is in force have the control over the juvenile as he would have if he were his parents, and shall be responsible for his maintenance, and the juvenile shall continue is his charge for the period stated by competent authority, notwithstanding that he is claimed by his parents or any other person.

    Section-12. Bail of juvenile.- (1) When any person accused of a bailable or non-bailable offence, and apparently a juvenile, is arrested or detained or appears or is brought before a board, such person shall, notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974) or in any other law for the time being in force, be released on bail with or without surety *[or placed under the supervision of a Probation Officer or under the care of any fit institution or fit person] but he shall not be so released if there appear resonable grounds for believing that the release is likely to bring him into association with any known criminal or expose him to moral, physical or psychological danger or that this released would defeat the ends of justice.

    (2) When such person having been arrested is not released on bail under sub-section (1) by the officer incharge of the police station, such officer shall cause him to be kept only in an observation home in the prescribed manner until he can be brought before a Board.

    (3) When such person is not released on bail under sub-section (1) by the Board it shall, instead of committing him to prison, make an order sending him to an observation home or a place of safety for such period during the pendency of the inquiry regarding him as may be specified in the order.

    *[Inserted vide Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Act, 2006, section 10]

    Section-14. Inquiry by Board regarding juvenile.- (1) Where is juvenile having been charged with the offence is produced before a Board, the Board shall hold the inquiry in accordance with the provisions of this Act and may make such order in relation to the juvenile as it deems fit.

    Provided that an inquiry under this section shall be completed within a period of four months from the date of its commencement, unless the period is extended by the Board having regard to the circumstances of the case and in special cases after recording the reasons in writing for such extension.

    *[(2) The Chief Judicial Magistrate or the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate shall review the pendency of cases of the Board at every six months, and shall direct the Board to increase the frequency of its sittings or may cause the constitution of additional Boards.]

    *[Section 14 renumbered and sub-section (2) Inserted vide Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Act, 2006, section 11]

    Section-15. Order that may be passed regarding juvenile.- (1) Where a Board is satisfied on inquiry that a juvenile has committed an offence, then, notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any other law for the time being in force, the Board may, if it thinks so fit, -

    (a) allow the juvenile to go home after advice or admonition following appropriate inquiry against and councelling to the parent or the guardian and the juvenile;

    (b) direct the juvenile to participate in group councelling and similar activities;

    (c) order the juvenile to perform community service;

    (d) order the parent of the juvenile or the juvenile himself to pay a fine, if he is over fourteen years of age and earns money;

    (e) direct the juvenile to be released on probation of good conduct and placed under the care of any parent, guardian or other fit person, on such parent, guardian or other fit person executing a bond, with or without surety, as the Board may require, for the good behaviour and well-being of the juvenile for any period not exceeding three years;

    (f) direct the juvenile to be released on probation of good conduct and placed under the care of any fit institution for the good behaviour and well-being of the juvenile for any period not exceeding three years;

    Section-16. Order that may not be passed against juvenile.- (1) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any other law for the time being in force, no juvenile in conflict with law shall be sentenced to death or *[imprisonment for any term which may extend to imprisonment for life], or committed to prison in default of payment of fine or in default of furnishing security;

    Provided that where a juvenile who has attained the age of sixteen years has committed an offence and the Board is satisfied that the offence committed is of so serious in nature or that his conduct and behaviour have been such that it would not be in his interest or in the interest of other juvenile in a special home to sent him to such special home and that none of the other measures provided under this Act is suitable or sufficient, the Board may order the juvenile in conflict with law to be kept in such place of safety and in such manner as it thinks fit and shall report the case for the order of the State Government.

    (2) On receipt of a report from a Board under sub-section (1), the State Government may make such arrangement in respect of the juvenile as it deems proper and may order such juvenile to be kept under protective custody at such place and on such conditions as it thinks fit;

    *[Provided that the period of detention so ordered shall not exceed in any case the maximum period provided under section 15 of this Act].

    *[Section 16 modified vide Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Act, 2006, section 13]

    Section-17. Proceeding under Chapter VIII of the Code of Criminal Procedure not competent against juvenile.- Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974) no proceeding shall be instituted and no order shall be passed against the juvenile under Chapter VIII of the said Code.

    Section-18. No joint proceeding of juvenile and person not a juvenile.- (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in section 223 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974) or in any other law for the time being in force, no juvenile shall be charged with or tried for any offence together with a person who is not a juvenile.

    (2) If a juvenile is accused of an offence for which under section 223 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974) or any other law for the time being in force, such juvenile and any person who is not a juvenile would, but for the prohibition contained in sub-section (1), have been charged and tried together, the Board taking cognizance of that offence shall direct separate trials of the juvenile and the other person.

    Section-19. Removal of disqualification attaching to conviction.- (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law, a juvenile who has committed an offence and has been dealt with under the provisions of this Act shall not suffer disqualification, if any, attaching to a conviction of an offence under such law.

    (2) The Board shall make an order directing that the relevant records of such conviction shall be removed after the expiry of the period of appeal or a reasonable period as prescribed under the rules, as the case may be.

    Section-22. Provision in respect of escaped juvenile.- Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any other law for the time being in force, any police officer may take charge without warrant of a juvenile in conflict with law who has escaped from a special home or an observation home or from the care of a person under whom he was placed under this Act, and shall be sent back to the special home or the observation home or that person, as the case may be; and no proceeding shall be instituted in respect of the juvenile by reason of such escape, but the special home, or the observation home or the person may, after giving the information to the Board which passed the order in respect of the juvenile, take such steps in respect of the juvenile as may be deemed necessary under the provisions of this Act.

    Section-23. Punishment for cruelty to juvenile or child.- Whoever, having the actual charge of or control over, a juvenile or the child, assaults, abandons, exposes or willfully neglects the juvenile or causes or procures him to be assaulted, abandoned, exposed or neglected in a manner likely to cause such juvenile or the child unnecessary mental or physical suffering shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extent to six months, or fine, or with both.

    Section-25. Penalty for giving intoxicating liquor or narcotic drug or psychotropic substance to juvenile or child.- Whoever give, or causes to be given, to any juvenile or the child any intoxicating liquor in a public place or any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance except upon the order of duly qualified medical practitioner or in case of sickness shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine.

    Section-26. Exploitation of juvenile or child employee.- Whoever ostensibly procures a juvenile or the child for the purpose of any hazardous employment keeps him in bondage and with-holds his earnings or uses such earning for his own purposes shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine.

    Section-27. Special offences.- The offences punishable under section 23, 24, 25 and 26 shall be cognizable.

    Section-28. Alternative punishment.- Where an act or omission constitute an offence punishable under this Act and also under any other Central or State Act, then, notwithstanding anything contained in any law for the time being in force, the offender found guilty of such offences shall be liable to punishment only under such Act as provides for punishment which is greater in degree.

    CHAPTER III: CHILD IN NEED OF CARE AND PROTECTION

    Section-29. Child Welfare Committee.- *[(1) The State Government may, within a period of one year from the date of commencement of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Act, 2006, by notification in the official gazette, constitute for every district, one or more, Child Welfare Committees for exercising the powers and discharge the duties conferred on such Committees in relation to child in need of care and protection under this Act.]

    (2) The Committee shall consist of a Chairperson and four other members as the State Government may think fit to appoint, of whom at least one shall be a woman and another, an expert on matters concerning children.

    (3) The qualification of the Chairperson and the members, and the tenure for which they may be appointed shall be such as may be prescribed.

    (4) The appointment of any member of the Committee may be terminated, after holding inquiry, by the State Government, if -

    (i) he has been found guilty of misuse of power vested under this Act;

    (ii) he has been convicted of an offence involving moral turpitude, and such conviction has not been reversed or he has not been granted full pardon in respect of such offence;

    (iii) he fails to attend the proceedings of the Committee for consecutive three months without any valid reason or he fails to attend less than three-fourth of the sittings in a year.

    (5) The Committee shall function as a Bench of Magistrates and shall have the powers conferred by the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974) on a Metropolitan Magistrate or, as the case may be, a Judicial Magistrate of the first class.

    *[Sub-section (1) modified vide Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Act, 2006, section 16]

    Section-30. Procedure, etc., in relation to Committee.- (1) The Committee shall meet at such times and shall observe such rules of procedure in regard to the transaction of business at its meetings, as may be prescribed.

    (2) A child in need of care and protection may be produced before an individual member for being placed in safe custody or otherwise when the Committee is not in session.

    (3) In the event of any difference of opinion among the members of the Committee at the time of any interim decision, the opinion of the majority shall prevail but where there is no such majority the opinion of the Chairperson shall prevail.

    (4) Subject to the provisions of sub-section (1), the Committee may act, notwithstanding the absence of any member of the Committee, and no order made by the Committee shall be invalid by reason only of the absence of any member during any stage of the proceeding.

    Section-31. Powers of Committee.- (1) The Committee shall have the final authority to dispose of cases for the care, protection, treatment, development and rehabilitation of the children as well as to provide for their basic needs and protection of human rights.

    (2) Where a Committee has been constituted for any area, such committee shall notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force but save as otherwise expressly provided in this Act, have the power to deal exclusively with all proceedings under this Act relating to children in need of care and protection.

    Section-32. Production before committee.- (1) Any child in need of care and protection may be produced before the Committee by one of the following persons -

    (i) any police officer or special juvenile police unit or a designated police officer;

    (ii) any public servant;

    (iii) child line, a registered voluntary organization or by such other voluntary organization or an agency as may be recognized by the State Government.

    (iv) any social worker or a public spirited citizen; or

    (v) by the child himself.

    Provided that the child shall be produced before the Committee without any loss of time but within a period of twenty-four hours excluding the time necessary for the journey.

    (2) The State Government may make rules consistent with this Act to provide for the manner of making the report to the Committee and the manner of sending and entrusting the child to children's home pending the inquiry.

    Section-33. Inquiry.- (1) On receipt of a report under section 32, the Committee shall hold an inquiry in the prescribed manner and the Committee, on its own or on the report from any person or agency as mentioned in sub-section (1) of section 32, may pass an order to send the child to the children's home for speedy inquiry by a social worker or child welfare officer.

    (2) The inquiry under this section shall be completed within four months of the receipt of the order or within such shorter period as may be fixed by the Committee;

    Provided that the time for the submission of the inquiry report may be extended by such period as the Committee may, having regard to the circumstances and for the reasons recorded in writing, determine;

    (3) The State Government shall review the pendency of cases of the Committee at every six months, and shall direct the Committee to increase the frequency of its sittings or may cause the constitution of additional Committees.

    (4) After the completion of the inquiry, if, the Committee is of the opinion that the said child has no family or ostensible support or is in continued need of care and protection, it may allow the child to remain in the children's home or shelter home till suitable rehabilitation is found for him or till he attains the age of eighteen years.

    *[Section 33 modified vide Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Act, 2006, section 18]

    Section-34. Children's homes.- (1) The State Government may establish and maintain either by itself or in association with the voluntary organizations, children's homes, in every district or group of districts, as the case may be, for the reception of child in need of care and protection during the pendency of any inquiry and subsequently for their care, treatment, education, training, development and rehabilitation.

    (2) The State Government may, by rules made under this Act, provide for the management of children's homes including the standards and the nature of services to be provided by them, and the circumstances under which, and the manner in which, the certification of a children's home or recognition to a voluntary organization may be granted or withdrawn.

    (3) Without prejudice to anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, all institutions, whether State Government run or those run by voluntary organisations for children in need of care and protection shall, within a period of six months from the date of commencement of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Act, 2006, be registered under this Act in such manner as may be prescribed.

    *[Sub-section (3) modified vide Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Act, 2006, section 19]

    Section-35. Inspection.- (1) The State Government may appoint inspection committees for the children's homes (hereinafter referred to as the inspection committees) for the State, a district and city, as the case may be, for such period and for such purposes as may be prescribed.

    (2) The inspection committee of a State, district or of a city shall consist of such number of representatives from the State Government, Committee, voluntary organizations and such other medical experts and social workers as may be prescribed.

    Section-36. Social auditing.- The Central Government or State Government may monitor and evaluate the functioning of the Children's homes at such period and through such persons and institutions as may be specified by that Government.

    Section-37. Shelter homes.- (1) The State Government may recognize, reputed and capable voluntary organizations and provide them assistance to setup and administer as many shelter homes for juveniles or children as may be required.

    (2) The shelter homes referred in sub-section (1) shall function as drop-in-centers for the children in the need of urgent support who have been brought to such homes through such persons as are referred to in sub-section (1) of section 32.

    (3) As far as possible, the shelter homes shall have such facilities as may be prescribed by the rules. 

    Section-38. Transfer.- (1) If during the inquiry it is found that the child hails from the place outside the jurisdiction of the Committee, the Committee shall order the transfer of the child to the competent authority having jurisdiction over the place of residence of the child.

    (2) Such juvenile or the child shall be escorted by the staff of the home in which he is lodged originally.

    (3) The State Government may make rules to provide for the Traveling allowance to be paid to the child.

    Section-39. Restoration.- (1) Restoration of and protection to a child shall be the prime objective of any children's home or the shelter home.

    (2) The children's home or a shelter home, as the case may be, shall take such steps as are considered necessary for the restoration of and protection to a child deprived of his family environment temporarily or permanently where such child is under the care and protection of a children's home or a shelter home, as the case may be.

    (3) The Committee shall have the powers to restore any child in need of care and protection to his parent, guardian, fit person or fit institution, as the case may be, and give them suitable directions.

    *[Explanation.- For the purposes of this section "restoration of and protection of a child" means restoration to-

    (a) Parents;

    (b) adopted parents;

    (c) foster parents;

    (d) guardian;

    (e) fit person;

    (f) fit institution. ]

    *[Substituted vide Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Act, 2006, section 20]

    CHAPTER IV: REHABILITATION AND SOCIAL REINTEGRATION

    Section-40. Process of rehabilitation and social reintegration.- The rehabilitation and social reintegration of a child shall begin during the stay of the child in a children's home or special home and the rehabilitation and social reintegration of children shall be carried out alternatively by (i) adoption, (ii) foster care, (iii) sponsorship, and (iv) sending the child to an after-care organization.

    Section-41. Adoption.- (1) The primary responsibility for providing care and protection to children shall be that of his family.

    *[(2) Adoption shall be resorted to for the rehabilitation of the children who are orphan, abandoned or surrendered through such mechanism as may be prescribed. 

    (3) In keeping with the provisions of the various guidelines for adoption issued from time to time, by the State Government, or the Central Adoption Resource Agency and notified by the Central Government, children may be given in adoption by a court after satisfying itself regarding the investigations having been carried out, as are required for giving such children in adoption. 

    (4) The State Government shall recognise one or more of its institutions or voluntary organisations in each district as specialised adoption agencies in such manner as may be prescribed for the placement of orphan, abandoned or surrendered children for adoption in accordance with the guidelines notified under sub-section (3):

    Provided that the children's homes and the institutions run by the State Government or a voluntary organisation for children in need of care and protection, who are orphan, abandoned or surrendered, shall ensure that these children are declared free for adoption by the Committee and all such cases shall be referred to the adoption agency in that district for placement of such children in adoption in accordance with the guidelines notified under sub-section (3).

    (5) No child shall be offered for adoption -

    (a) until two members of the Committee declare the child legally free for placement in the case of abandoned children,

    (b) till the two months period for reconsideration by the parent is over in the case of surrendered children, and

    (c) without his consent in the case of a child who can understand and express his consent.

    *[(6) The Court may allow a child to be given in adoption -

    (a) to a person irrespective of marital status; or

    (b) to parents to adopt a child of same sex irrespective of the number of living biological sons or daughters; or

    (c) to childless couples.]

    *[Sub-sections (2), (3), (4), and (6) substituted vide Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Act, 2006, section 21]

    Section-42. Foster care.- (1) The foster care may be used for temporary placement of those infants who to be given for adoption.

    (2) In foster care, the child may be placed in another family for a short or extended period of time, depending upon the circumstances where the child's own parent usually visit regularly and eventually after the rehabilitation, where the children may return to their own homes.

    (3) The State Government may make rules for purposes of carrying out the scheme of foster care programme of children.

    Section-43. Sponsorship.- (1) The sponsorship programme may provide supplementary support to families, to children's homes and to special homes to meet medical, nutritional, educational and other needs of the children with a view to improving their quality of life.

    (2) The State Government may make rules for the purposes of carrying out various schemes of sponsorship of children, such as individual to individual sponsorship, group sponsorship or community sponsorship.

    Section-44. After-care organization.- The State Government may, by rules made under this Act, provide-

    (a) for the establishment or recognition of after-care organizations and the functions that may be performed by them under this Act;

    (b) for a scheme of after-care programme to be followed by such after-care organizations for the purpose of taking care of juveniles or the children after they leave special homes, children homes and for the purpose of enabling them to lead an hones, industrious and useful life;

    (c) for the preparation or submission of a report by the probation officer or any other officer appointed by that Government in respect of each juvenile or the child prior to his discharge from a special home, children's home, regarding the necessity and nature of after-care of such juvenile or of a child, the period of such after-care, supervision thereof and for the submission of report by the probation officer or any other officer appointed for the purpose, on the progress of each juvenile or the child;

    (d) for the standards and the nature of services to be maintained by such after-care organizations;

    (e) for such other matters as may be necessary for the purpose of carrying out the scheme of after-care programme for the juvenile or the child;

    Provided that any rule made under this section shall not provide for such juvenile or child to stay in the after-care organization for more than three years;

    Provided further that a juvenile or child over seventeen years of age but less than eighteen years of age would stay in the after-care organization till he attains the age of twenty years.

    Section-45. Linkages and co-ordination.- The State Government may make rules to ensure effective linkages between various governmental, non-governmental, corporate and other community agencies for facilitating the rehabilitation and social reintegration of the child.

    CHAPTER V: MISCELLANEOUS

    Section-49. Presumption and determination of age.- (1) Where it appears to a competent authority that person brought before it under any of the provisions of this Act (otherwise than for the purpose of giving evidence) is a juvenile or the child, the competent authority shall make due inquiry so as to the age of that person and for that purpose shall take such evidence as may be necessary (but not an affidavit) and shall record a finding whether the person is a juvenile or the child or not, stating his age as nearly as may be.

    (2) No order of a competent authority shall be deemed to have become invalid merely by any subsequent proof that the person in respect of whom the order has been made is not a juvenile or the child, and the age recorded by the competent authority to be the age of person so brought before it, shall for the purpose of this Act, be deemed to be the true age of that person.

    Section-52. Appeals.- (1) Subject to the provisions of this section, any person aggrieved by an order made by a competent authority under this Act may, within thirty days from the date of such order, prefer an appeal to the Court of Session;

    Provided that the Court of Session may entertain the appeal after the expiry of the said period of thirty days if it is satisfied that the appellant was prevented by sufficient cause from filing the appeal in time.

    (2) No appeal shall lie from -

    (a) any order of acquittal made by the Board in respect of a juvenile alleged to have committed an offence; or

    (b) any order made by a Committee in respect of a finding that a person is not a neglected juvenile.

    (3) No second appeal shall lie from any order of the Court of Session passed in appeal under this section.

    Section-53. Revision.- The High Court may, at any time, either of its own motion or on an application received in this behalf, call for the record of any proceeding in which any competent authority or Court of Session has passed an order for the purpose of satisfying itself as to the legality or propriety of any such order and may pass such order in relation thereto as it thinks fit;

    Provided that the High Court shall not pass an order under this section prejudicial to any person without giving him a reasonable opportunity of being heard.

    Section-54. Procedure in inquiries, appeals and revision proceedings.- (1) Save as other expressly provided by this Act, a competent authority while holding any inquiry under any of the provisions of this Act, shall follow, such procedure as may be prescribed and subject thereto, shall follow, as far as may be, the procedure laid down in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974) for trials in summons cases.

    (2) Save as otherwise expressly provided by or under this Act, the procedure to be followed in hearing appeals or revision proceedings under this Act shall be, as far as practicable, in accordance with the provision of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974).

    Section-55. Power to amend orders.- (1) Without prejudice to the provisions for appeal and revision under this Act, any competent authority may, on an application received in this behalf, amend any order as to the institution to which a juvenile or the child is to be sent or as to the person under whose care or supervision a juvenile or the child is to be placed under this Act.

    Provided that there shall be at least two members and the parties or its defence present during the course of hearing for passing an amendment in relation to any of its order.

    (2) Clerical mistakes in orders passed by a competent authority or errors arising therein from any accidental slip or omission may, at any time, be corrected by the competent authority either on its own motion or on an application received in this behalf.

    Section-56. Power of competent authority to discharge and transfer juvenile or child.- The competent authority may, notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, at any time, order a child in need of care and protection or a juvenile in conflict with law to be discharged or transferred from one children's home or special home to another, as the case may be, keeping in view the best interest of the child or the juvenile, and his natural place of stay, either absolutely or on such conditions as it may think fit to impose;

    Provided that the total period of stay of the juvenile or the child in a children's home or a special home or fit institution or under a fit person shall not be increased by such transfer.

    Section-61. Fund.- (1) The State Government may create a Fund under such name as it think fit for the welfare and rehabilitation of the juvenile or the child dealt with under this Act.

    (2) There shall be credited to the Fund such Voluntary donations, contributions or subscriptions as may be made by any individual organization.

    (3) The Fund created under sub -section (1) shall be administered by the State advisory board in such manner and for such purposes as may be prescribed.

    Section-62. Central, State, district and city advisory boards.- (1) The Central Government or a State Government may constitute a Central or a State advisory board, as the case may be, to advise that Government on matter relating to the establishment and maintenance of the homes, mobilization of resources, provision of facilities for education, training and rehabilitation of child in need of care and protection and juvenile in conflict with law and co-ordination among the various official and non-official agencies concerned.

    (2) The Central or State advisory board shall consist of such persons as the Central Government or the State Government, as the case may be, may think fit and shall include eminent social workers, representatives of voluntary organization in the field of child welfare corporate sector, academicians, medical professionals and the concerned Department of the State Government.

    (3) The district or city level inspection committee constituted under section 35 of this Act shall also function as the district or city advisory boards.

    Section-62A. Constitution of Child Protection Unit responsible for implementation of the Act.- Every State Government shall constitute a Child Protection Unit for the state and, such unit for every district, consisting of such officers and other employees as may be appointed by that government, to take up matters relating to children in need of care and protection and juveniles in conflict with law with a view to ensure the implementation of this act including the establishment and maintenance of homes, notification of competent authorities in relation to these children and their rehabilitation and co-ordination with various officials and non-official agencies concerned.

    *[Inserted vide Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Act, 2006, section 24]

    Section-63. Special juvenile police unit.- (1) In order to enable the police officers who frequently or exclusively deal with juveniles or are primarily engaged in the prevention of juvenile crime or handling of the juveniles or children under this Act to perform their functions more effectively, they shall be specially instructed and trained.

    (2) In every police station at least one officer with aptitude and appropriate training and orientation may be designated as the "juvenile or the child welfare officer" who will handle the juvenile or the child in co-ordination with the police.

    (3) Special juvenile police unit, of which all police officers designated as above, to handle juveniles or children will be members, may be created in every district and city to co-ordinate and to upgrade the police treatment of the juveniles and the children.

    Section-65. Procedure in respect of bonds.- Provisions of Chapter XXXIII of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974) shall as far as may be, apply to bonds taken under this Act.

    Section-70. Power to remove difficulties.- (1) If any difficulty arises in giving effect to the provisions of this Act, the Central Government may, by order, not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act, remove the difficulty;

    Provided that no such order shall be made after the expiry of the period of two years from the commencement of this Act.

    (2) However, order made under the section shall be laid, as soon as may be after it is made, before each House of Parliament.

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