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Parliament Passes Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill 2021

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    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    29th Jul, 2021


The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill, 2021, has been passed by both houses of Parliament.

What are the key amendments of the Act?

                  Earlier Provisions


1. Adoption:Under the Act, once adoptive parents accept a child, an adoption agency applies tothe civil court to obtain the adoption order.  The adoption order issued by the court defines that the child belongs to the adoptive parents.  

  • The amendment authorizesthe District Magistrate including Additional District Magistrate to issue adoption orders under Section 61 of the JJ Act.
  • It is done to ensure speedy disposal of cases and to enhance accountability.
  • The District Magistrates have also been empowered further to ensure implementation of the act.

2. Child Welfare Committees (CWCs): The Act provides for the constitution of one or more CWCs for each district to deal with children in need of care and protection.  It provides certain criteria for the appointment of the members to CWC.  

  • Under the amendment, eligibility parameters for the appointment of CWC members have been redefined. 
  • The criteria for the disqualification of CWC member has also been introduced.

3. Categories:Under the 2015 Act offences are categorised as:

  • heinous offences: with a minimum punishment of seven years of imprisonment
  • serious offences: three to seven years of imprisonment)
  • petty offences: below three years of imprisonment
  • Some of the offences do not strictly fall under any of the categories.
  • It has been decided that the offences where the maximum sentence is more than 7 years imprisonment but no minimum sentence has been prescribed or a minimum sentence of fewer than 7 years is provided, shall be treated as serious offences within this Act.

4. Offences against children: An offence under the Act, which is punishable with imprisonment between three to seven years will be cognizable and non-bailable.  

  • The Bill provides that such offences will be non-cognizable and non-bailable.

 About Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015

  • The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 addresses the children in conflict with law and children in need of care and protection.  
  • A juvenile is defined as a person less than 18 years of age.  
  • The Act fulfils India's commitment towards
    • United Nations Convention on the rights of the child
    • Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in respect of Inter-country Adoption (1993)
    • Other related international instruments
  • As a signatory, India is required to undertake all the appropriate measures to ensure that the rights of children about juvenile justice, care and protection, and adoption are preserved.