Juvenile Justice Dr.N.Prabhudev Vice Chancellor Bangalore University Youth Makes a Nation • Joe E. Lewis said: “You are young only once, and if you work it right, once is enough”. • It is important to note that the priceless resource of any country is its human resource. There is no other resource that matches the human being, because mankind is the foundation or the corner stone of any development and civilization. Out of the human intellect a nation is built. • "Youth are not only the leaders of tomorrow, but also the partners of today. ’’ As scholars have stated, "time is not evaluated by what has been harvested, but what has been planted". The government and society at large have equal responsibility to provide the youth with suitable grounds and thereby bringing about a matured and responsible population for the coming generation to lead a better life. • Children’s rights require special protection and call for continuous improvement of the situation of children all over the world, as well as for their development and education in conditions of peace and security, profoundly concerned that the situation of children in many parts of the world remains critical as a result of inadequate social conditions, natural disasters, armed conflicts, exploitation, illiteracy, hunger and disability, and convinced that urgent and effective national and international action is called for. • A staggering 30 million children in India belonged to families living in conditions of extreme distress and deprivation. Violence against girls, child labor, children living on the streets, trafficking, violence in schools and violence in conflict situations have all been reportedly on the rise. The need for specific instrumentality for children stems from these pressing situations. Flawed Approach • The juvenile justice system in India is an offshoot of the criminal justice system. Because of this, its approach towards children has always been marked by the tension between the protective approach of juvenile justice and the traditional approach of dealing with crime. • The basic idea of juvenile justice was to reintegrate the child into family and society. This needs a proper network of rehabilitation and after care services. Unfortunately, this arrangement is almost nonexistent.. • The current juvenile justice policy does not have a preventive approach. The delinquency prone situations are increasing but there is no substantial mechanism to check it. • Juvenile Justice Act 1986 is the primary legal framework for juvenile justice in India. The act provides for a special approach towards the prevention and treatment of juvenile delinquency and provides a framework for the protection, treatment and rehabilitation of children in the purview of the juvenile justice system. The law replaced the Children Act, 1960. The Juvenile Justice Bill was first introduced in the Lok Sabha on 22 August 1986. This act was amended in 2000 and is now known as the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act. Ban on Trial by Media imposed by Juvenile Justice • Indian Media remembers Lippmann quote that there can be no higher law in journalism than to tell the truth and to shame the devil but forgets Section 21 of Juvenile Justice Act which is inspired by the UNCRC-United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is a good law. It has a specific provision that bans trial by media. However, on 03/06/2009, a news item appeared in the New Delhi Edition of The Times of India on page 4, titled “BOY SHOOTS FRIEND OVER TV REMOTE”. It reveals the age, name and address of the juvenile in question. • It’s high time for the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) to act as we attach immense importance to the rule of law and the right to fair trial, with special emphasis with regards to juveniles in conflict with law. • In fact, since 02/06/07, the media has been extensively covering and sensationalizing the case of a nine-year-old juvenile who has allegedly killed three children in the past one year. The press has branded him as a 'serial killer'; it has gone to the extent of publishing his photograph with such news items along with the name of his village. • The press has grossly disregarded Section 21 of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2006 enacted by the Government of India which prohibits publication of the name, address or any other particulars calculated to lead to the identification of the juvenile. The said provision also prohibits publication of the juvenile's picture. However, only if the enquiring authority in the interest of the juvenile permits such disclosure in writing, then the press is justified in publishing such news. • If children are created in the image of God, then... My God is a Juvenile Delinquent…Ruzbeh N. Bharucha Bail is a right, not a prerogative • Every juvenile in conflict with law in entitled to be released on bail, irrespective of whether the alleged conflict with law is bailable or nonbailable in the CrPC.. Bail can only be denied if there is substantial reason to believe that • After release: the juvenile is likely to get associated with a known criminal; or there is moral, physical and psychological danger to the juvenile; IF THE BAIL IS DENIED, THEN THE JUVENILE IS KEPT IN AN OBSERVATION HOME. AN OBSERVATION HOME,IMPLIES, THAT THE CHILD IS KEPT IN ‘JUDICIAL CUSTODY’ Adoption under Juvenile Justice Act • Adoption can be a most beautiful solution not only for childless couples and single people but also for homeless children. It enables a parent-child relationship to be established between persons not biologically related. It is defined as a process by which people take a child not born to them and raises it as a member of their family. Some of the crucial areas requiring attention are as follows: • Better coordination among key players • Strict enforcement • Long drawn repatriation process. • Cross Border Trafficking • Need for a Protocol • The Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976 Rehabilitation Plan:. • 1. The educational rehabilitation for the child and • 2. Economic rehabilitation for the family It is essential to ensure that young people are provided the avenues to involve themselves in nation-building activities. There is the National Cadet Corps (NCC), there is the National Service Scheme (NSS) with 5000 national service volunteers deployed round the country. But why isn't it a million, given the employment issues, the community needs? Why not mobilise young people to really address this? There are very strong traditions, Gandhian traditions, just to name one, religious traditions, the sense of generosity that could easily be built on in terms of creating large scale programmes . The immediate aim should be to raise the membership of the NSS and the NCC, at the minimum to a million each to create awareness of civic responsibilities and bring about social regeneration. THANK YOU!
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