Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill: The Parliament, on 28 July 2021, passed the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill 2021 with Rajya Sabha approving it amid din.
- The amendment of the Act was taken up after the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) in a survey of children’s shelter homes in India found that over 7,600 children were living in poor living conditions with no access to basic amenities.
- The Bill seeks to amend the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.
- The Bill has already been passed in the Lok Sabha.
- The amendment seeks to increase the role of additional district magistrates and district magistrates regarding matters which concern adoption and child care.
- The district magistrates have now been empowered to sign adoption orders under Section 61 of the Juvenile Justice Act thus making the process of adoption faster and more compliant with rules.
- The bill also seeks to provide justice and support to the children.
About Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children), Act, 2015:
- In 2015, the Parliament introduced and passed the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act to replace the Juvenile Delinquency Law and the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children Act) 2000.
- The Act offered provisions to allow trials of juveniles in the age group of 16-18 years as an adult who were found to be in conflict with the law, especially heinous crimes.
- The Act also offered provisions regarding adoption.
- The Act replaced the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act (1956) and Guardians of the ward Act (1890) with a more universally accessible adoption law.
- The Act enabled smooth functioning of adoption procedures for orphans, surrendered, and abandoned children while making the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) the statutory body for adoption-related matters.
Offenses committed by juveniles:
Currently, the Act outlines three categories of offenses which are as follows:
- Serious offenses are those offenses that allow imprisonment of three to seven years.
- Therefore, serious offenses will have maximum punishment which is more than seven years of imprisonment and for the minimum punishment, it is less than seven years.
Why was this amendment necessary?
- In order to fasten the adoption proceedings this decision has been taken because as of the month of July 2018, across the country, there were 629 pending adoption cases in various courts.