Juvenile
is the term used for any person who is under the age of 18 years ,according to
Sec.2 (k)of, The Juvenile Justice (Care
and protection of Children )Act ,2000,Sec .2 (1)defines a juvenile in conflict with law “as a child who is alleged to have  committed an offence and has not yet
completed 18 years of age at the time of commission of offence” . “Offence” is defined as “an act punishable under any law for the time
being force”.And the Act specifies that a child should be tried for an
offence on the basis of this status as a ‘child’ at the time of commission of
offence and not at the time of trial1
.The term juvenile justice emerged from the word Juvenis, in Latin
which means justice system for the young.  Etymologically, the term delinquency has been
derived from the Latin word,delinquer
means to omit2
Children are like fire with possibilities of virtue and vice, with
capabilities unknown.  This essay discusses crime committed by
young people, as they go through transitional phase that is from childhood to adulthood
in a continuously developing and complex world.

 

Evolution of juvenile justice act:

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Before the
period of 1773, both Hindu and Muslim families were held
responsible for every act of their children, and were responsible to provide
them care and protection. Situations changed when the crimes committed by
juveniles increased at an alarming rate. To solve this British introduced law like Whipping Act of 1864 to punish these
minors by the way of whipping and eventually setting them free as way of
deterrence .The Indian Penal code Act
1860 and criminal procedure code 1861 treating child differently through
various procedures. Act XIX of 1850,
1876 reformatory schools act, the
Borstal School Act, Children’s act of 1920 for their Institutionalization
and rehabilitation. 3The
case of Sheela Barse & Anr. Vs.
Union of
India & Ors helped in establishing that children in the jails are
entitled to special treatment and recommended that parliament should make a
uniform law applicable throughout the country.4The Bombay Children’s Act (1944) required custody, control and punishment of young
offenders. The Bombay Children’s Act of 1944 was amended in 1948 and provided
for treatment and rehabilitation of young offenders.5

In the
year 1986 The Juvenile Justice Act
was introduced for a uniform system, procedure and personnel in the domain of
juvenile justice throughout the country, in this Act the age of male juvenile
was kept at sixteen years while the girl age was kept at eighteen years.6
After India had passed this law, UNCRC
in the year 1989 to passed certain regulations to protect rights of the
children same was ratified by India in 1992.7

In 2000
the 1986 law was repealed and a new law which catered to present conditions was
introduced  The Juvenile Justice (care and protection of children) Act 2000 but
the age was kept at 16 only later it was Amended in 2006 to increase the age of
the child which increased to 18 years to adhere the International ratified
laws.

The
provisions of constitution which grants the special status to the children Article 15(3), 24, 39(e) & (f) and 45,
National policy for children 1974, 2013, declare that children are a
national asset. Further through constitutional directions many other laws and
statutory provisions have been enacted to protect the rights of children like RTE 2009, child labor prohibition act 1986,
Juvenile justice acts of 1986, 2000, and 2015

In the
year 2015 a bill was introduced to allow a justice board which will include
psychologists and sociologist to decide whether a juvenile criminal in the age
group of 16-18 will tried as an adult or not . The judicial waiver system will
enable judiciary to punish juvenile as adult in cases of heinous crimes like rape,
murder etc.

 

1 Juvenile Justice (Care and protection of
Children )Act ,2 ,(2000).

2 IOSR ,Journal of
Research & Method in Education (IOSR-JRME) e-ISSN: 2320–7388,p-ISSN:
2320–737X Volume 5, Issue 5 Ver. II (Se0p. – Oct. 2015), PP 1.

3   Wordpress ,
history-of-juvenile-justice-in-india /2014/11/pg 1,2 (www.wordpress.com),

4 Sheela Barse &
Anr. Vs. Union of India & Ors. 1986 AIR 1773 ORS.

5 Bombay Children’s Act (1944).

6
Juvenile Justice Act, 2(h) 1986.

7  UNICEF , blog Covention on Rights of
Children,( www.unicef-irc.org/CRC).

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