How is the Juvenile Justice System different?

By Ayush Chandra 12 Minutes Read


Over several decades, the crime rate by minors more junior than 16 years has increased. The analysis of expanding crime percentage might be because of the childhood conditions of the kid, monetary conditions, absence of training, and parental attentiveness. These are a piece of basic reasons. And the most disillusioning part is that children (particularly under the age group of 5 to 7 years), presently tools are utilized as a device for carrying out wrongdoing as at this stage their psyche is innocent and can easily be controlled.
The unpleasant occurrence of “Nirbhaya Delhi Gang Rape Case”[1], on December 16, 2012, amazed the entire country and numerous discussions were begun among certain groups and communists. The primary analysis and issue of the discussion was the contribution of the accused, who was only a half year short to achieve the age of 18 years. The inclusion of the accused in such an extreme crime for assault forced the Indian Legislation to present another law and, in this way, the Indian Parliament created another law which is also called ” Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection), 2015.[2] The Introduction of the Act has removed the current juvenile laws and has presented some wonderful changes. One of the unusual changes is juveniles under the age group of 16 to 18 years ought to be known as a grown-up.

Meaning of Child and Juvenile under the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 and other numerous laws

Frequently, a “child” proposes a person who has not achieved the age of 18 years and is not mature to realize what is right and wrong. In the contemporary era, the punishing laws of most utmost countries have adopted the principle of ‘doli incapax[3], which indicates an understanding that acting there is a crime. The punishing laws also state that Only a child between the age of seven to twelve age can be sentenced, given that, the act they have performed is a horrendous crime and they have the consciousness and have achieved the adequate information to learn the outcomes of their actions. According to subsection 12 of Section 2 of The Juvenile (Care and Protection) Act, 2015 [4]a “child” means a person who has not finished eighteen years of age. The Act incorporates the term “child” into two categories: –

  • “child in conflict with law” [5], and
  • “Child in need of care and protection”[6]

The child who has performed an offense and he or she are below the age of 18 years on the date of performance of the offense are originally described as “child in conflict with law”. The second subcategory is “child in need of care and protection” which indicates a child defined under Section 14 of the Act[7].

Children Act, 1960: – Section 2(e) [8]The Act states “child” means a boy who has not attained the age of sixteen years or a girl who has not attained the age of eighteen years. United Nations Convention: – The UN Convention on the Rights of Child, 1989 specifies that “child” implies a human being under the age of eighteen years except for the law declaration applicable to the child, adulthood is achieved earlier.[9][6]

Difference between Juvenile and Child

A person below the age of full statutory responsibility and duty is a minor or a person who is under the legal age of eighteen years is minor. A child being arrested for a crime is not undertaken as an adult and is sent to the Child Care Centre whereas a juvenile is a person among the age group of sixteen and eighteen years. A growing person who has been involved in crime is a juvenile offender and is undertaken as an adult in court proceedings.

In general insight both the words have the same purpose but inequality lies in the connection of implications in the eyes of law. Minor indicates young and teen characters whereas juveniles each indicate an immature person or young offenders. Juvenile Justice Act, 2000 [10]The Act was passed in the year 2000 with the purpose and plans to give security for children. The suggestion was revised twice – first in the year of 2006 and later in the year of 2011. The act was created to discuss the hollow and loopholes in the implementation. Moreover, the growing amount of cases of teenage offenses in the last contemporary years and shocking occurrence of “Delhi Gang Rape Case” has pushed lawmakers to develop up with the law. The significant disadvantage of the Act was that it includes ill-equipped statutory terms and the malfunctioning of the juvenile practice was also the influential cause in stopping juvenile offenses in India. The act was succeeded soon by The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2015.

Modern Juvenile Justice System in India

Like the other nations, India had also presented statutory requirements that were particularly and individually administered with the powers and assurance of juvenile offenders which attempts to take the difficulty of juvenile misconduct. The Juvenile Justice System in India is performed on the grounds of three main hypotheses:

  • Young offenders should not be decided in courts, rather they should be improved in all the biggest potential systems,
  • they should not be punished by the bars, but they should get a possibility to improve
  • Trial for the child in dispute with the law[11] should be based on non-penal practice within the areas based upon the common control agencies e.g. Observation Homes[12] and Special Homes[13].

Juvenile Justice Act, 2015

The objects to strengthen the regulations associating to minors claimed and determined to be in dispute with law and adolescents in the insufficiency of care and security by providing and recognizing their essential requirements through individual care & stability, growth, treatment, by adopting a child-friendly way in the adjudication and distribution of things in the best care of children. The act also converges on the improvement of juvenile offenders through different child care houses and schools.

Part of Juvenility: The first and common controversial issue amongst the legal fellowship and socialists is the “part of juvenility”. The part or claim of Juvenility is to be determined by the Juvenile Justice Board. The Board has to determine the part of juvenility before the court procedures but the part of juvenility can be suggested before the court at any step of procedures and even after the conclusion of the matter by the Board. The Board had to reconsider Rule 12 of the Juvenile Justice Rules, 2007 to resolve the claim of juvenility. In the case of KulaiIbrahim v. the State of Coimbatore [14]It was mentioned by the Court that the arrested has the right to put the question of juvenility at any moment during the trial or even after the conclusion of the case under the Section 9 of Juvenile Justice Act, 2015.[15]


The growing incidences of juvenile offense in India in a very touching subject and need to be directed upon. Although the government has laid different legislation and practices to stop the occurrences of juvenile offenses the contemporary laws on juveniles are not building a hindrance impact on the juveniles and thus the consequences are not productive and the legislative purpose is not accomplished.

[1] 1998 SCC, Del 879: (1999) 77 DLT 181
[2] Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 has been passed by Parliament of India amidst intense controversy, debate and protest on many of its provisions by the Child Rights fraternity.
[3] Section 82 of IPC states that a child below the age of seven years is doli incapex
[4] (12) “child” means a person who has not completed eighteen years of age;
[5] Section 13 of The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act,2015
[6] Section 14 of The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act,2015
[7] Inquiry by Board regarding child in conflict with law
[8]  ” child” means a boy who has not attained the age of sixteen years or a girl who has not attained the age of eighteen years
[9] Article 1 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Child, 1989.
[10] The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 is the primary legal framework for juvenile justice in India.
[11]  Section 2 (13) of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2015
[12] Section 47 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2015
[13] Section 48 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2015
[14] AIR 2014 SC 2726
[15] Procedure to be followed by a Magistrate who has not been empowered under this Act.

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