Role of Juvenile Justice System In India
Authored By-Aashank Dwivedi
The juvenile justice system is the most progressive and enlightened one that the world's citizens have embraced for the sake of children's overall development. The main priorities are to care for the vulnerable youngster and reform the rebellious adults. A youngster should be helped and brought back into the family as much as is practical. When deciding a case involving a kid who has broken the law, the special court will apply the parents patria theory. The research paper
evaluated by the White Black law Journal in the light of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.
The Latin phrase “Nil Novi Spectrum” perfectly reflects India’s Juvenile Justice System. It can be said that there is "nothing new on this earth," and among Indians, especially in northern India, there is a proverb that can be translated as "It is Never Too Late to Mend," which can be used to describe the juvenile justice system in India as it is currently practised. Instead of adopting these proverbs, India's juvenile justice system should be built on the English proverb "Old enough to do the crime, old enough to do the sentence," which is also utilised by some states in the USA. The idea that children should be treated favourably dates back to ancient India since there is a school of thought that asserts that youth have a propensity for expressing intense and persistent anger, which is frequently followed by violent approaches.
In the last few years it is observed that the crime done by the children under the age 15-16 years have been increased. Early life experiences, dominant masculinity, upbringing, economic chaos, lack of education, etc., are the general propensity or psychology behind the commission of the
crime or the causes of crime. The use of kids between the ages of 6 to 10 as tools to commit crimes or engage in illicit activity is an embarrassment nowadays. Kids can be seduced for very little money because their minds have an innocent and guileless quality.
Prior to the Juvenile Justice act there existed the the Children Rights Act, 1960 that aimed to protect the interests and rights of a Juvenile and that looked and care, treatment, rehabiliation and development of children. The recent development in the international community emerges the involvement of Juveniles in the Crimes, Indian legislators are obligated to propose new, progressive, and stronger rules for the nation's juvenile system. The outcome was the passage by the Parliament of the Juvenile Justice Act of 1986, Juvenile Justice Act of 2000, and most recently, Juvenile Justice Act of 2015.
On December 16, 2012, the terrifying "Nirbhaya Delhi Gang Rape Case"1 shook the entire country and sparked a number of discussions among the legal community and socialists. The involvement of the accused, who was just six months away from being 18 years old, was the main topic of discussion and the main cause of the argument. A new law called as "Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection), 2015" was created by the Indian Parliament as a result of the accused's involvement in the horrible crime of rape, which compelled the Indian government to adopt new legislation.
The introduction of the Act has superseded the prior juvenile legislation and brought about a number of noteworthy modifications. One of the notable modifications is the recommendation that juveniles between the ages of 16 and 18 be tried as adults.
Definition Of Child And Juvenile Under The Juvenile Justice Act, 2015
A "child" is typically defined as a person under the age of 18 who lacks the maturity to discern between good and wrong. The majority of nations currently adhere to the "doli incapex"2 principle, which states that an individual must be aware that the act they are committing is illegal. According to the penal code, only children between the ages of seven and twelve can be found guilty of a
crime, providing that they were aware of the implications of their actions and that the crime they committed was a serious one.
According to the sub-section 12 of section 2 of the Juvenile Justice (care and protection) act, 2015 a ‘child’means any person who has not completed the age of 18 years. This act classifies the term ‘child’ into two categories:
Child in conflict with law3
Child in need of care and protections4
The child who has committed an offence and he or she is under the age of 18 years on the date of commission of the offence is basically called as “child in conflict with law”. The second sub
category is “child in need of care and protections” means a child defined under section 14.
History Of Juvenile System In India
A worldwide movement for the particular treatment of juvenile offenders has emerged in the modern era, especially in many industrialised nations like the U.K. and the U.S.A. Around the 18th century, this movement first gained traction. Juvenile offenders were once treated in the same manner as other criminal offenders. The United Nations General Assembly adopted the
Convention on the Rights of the Child on November 20, 1989, for the same reason. The goal of this convention is to safeguard juvenile offenders' best interests. According to the Convention, there cannot be any legal actions or court trials against juveniles in order to ensure their social reintegration. The Juvenile Justice Act of 1986 is repealed by the Convention, and a new legislation is enacted.
The Act's primary goals were as follows:
The principal goals of the Act were to offer therapy, development, and rehabilitation for neglected young offenders.
The act essentially established a consistent framework for juvenile justice in the nation that safeguards the rights and interests of children.
The equipment and infrastructure for the protection, development, and rehabilitation of young offenders are discussed.
In the event that horrendous crimes were committed by juvenile criminals, it laid out the fundamental rules for the proper and impartial administration of criminal justice.
Present Juvenile Justice System In India
In an effort to address the issue of juvenile delinquency, India, like other nations, has developed legal measures that expressly and especially deal with the rights and protection of juvenile offenders. In India the Juvenile justice system is based on the the main assumptions:
Young criminals should not be brought before the court; instead, they should be corrected in the best methods possible.
They should be not punished by the court but instead given a chance to reform.
Trial for child in conflict with law5 should be based on non-penal treatment through the communities based upon the social control agencies.
International Concern For The Juvenile Justice System
The Convention on the Rights of the Child, which stipulates a set of standards to be followed by all States Parties in ensuring the best interests of the child, was approved by the United Nations General Assembly on November 20, 1989.6 The subject of children's rights and the prevention of child abuse has benefited greatly from international instruments and treaties.
The following are the international agreements and conventions that all UN member states have ratified to safeguard children's rights:
? UN Minimum Standards for the Management of Juvenile Justice (Beijing Rules).
? Guidelines established by the UN for the prevention of juvenile crime (Riyadh Guidelines).
? Rules established by the UN to protect children deprived of their liberty (Havana Conventions).
? Action on Children in the Juvenile Justice System: Guidelines (Vienna Guidelines).
Causes Of Juvenile Crimes
There are many causes of adolescent crime in India, according to studies and research. Each individual has a unique set of behavioural traits, and children are no exception. Early in life,
children's behaviour patterns start to take shape, and it can be very challenging to recognise any particular conduct at that time. However, when a child grows up and enters the adult world, their behaviour patterns alter frequently, and a variety of situations or circumstances may give rise to their engaging in delinquent behaviour. Following are the causes of Juvenile Crimes in India:
1. Adolescence Instability: One of the key elements in the conduct of an adolescent is their biological, psychological, and sociological makeup. Teenagers at this period are more
aware of their enjoyment, food, play, and other activities as well as their appearances and fashions. They also crave independence and freedom at this age, but occasionally, their parents, teachers, and elders provide them opportunities that encourage anti-social behaviour in them. Biological changes, psychological factors, and anti-social behaviour are some of the causes of adolescent delinquency.
2. Disintegration Of Family: The main causes of rising adolescent delinquency rates are also the breakdown of the family system and lax parental supervision. In most situations, parental divorce, a lack of parental supervision, and a lack of affection and love are the main causes of juvenile misbehaviour.
3. Migration: Boys who are abandoned and destitute move to slum regions where they interact with antisocial sections of society that engage in illicit activities like prostitution and drug smuggling, among other things. Young people are very drawn to these activities, and they may get involved in them.
4. Modern Lifestyle: Children and teenagers find it very challenging to adapt to the modern lifestyle due to the society's and living patterns' quick change. They experience issues with cultural tensions and lack the ability to distinguish between good and wrong.
Juvenile Justice System And The Constitution Of India
The Indian Constitution is regarded as the country's fundamental law. Citizens have rights and obligations under the constitution. Additionally, it makes provisions for the operation of government apparatus. The Directive Principles of State Policies (DPSP), which serve as general guides in forming governmental policies, are offered for people in Part III of the Constitution, just as they are in Part IV. A few fundamental rights and provisions, particularly for the welfare of
children, are granted by the constitution. Like:
Article 15(3): Provides special powers to State to make any special laws for the upliftment and the betterment of children and women.
Article 21A: Right to free and compulsory elementary education for all the children under the age of 6 to 14 years.
Article 24: Right to be protected from any hazardous employment under the age of fourteen age.
Article 39: Right to be protected from human trafficking and forced bonded labour system.
Article 47: Right to be provided with good nutrition and proper standard of living.
Therefore, all required constitutional requirements were taken into account by lawmakers as they drafted the Juvenile Act of 2015 to ensure that children's rights are protected in every way possible.This is related to the fact that Chapter IV of the Act outlines guidelines for improving the lives of juveniles and has a particular emphasis on their reformation and rehabilitation under all situations.
A crime is not just a wrong that violates the letter of the law. It's a mistake that academics have characterised as morally repugnant, having effects that go well beyond the victim. Because of
this, crime is seen to be an offence against the state. The way we think about crime is changing as we move closer to the modern day. Being relatively new, the idea of juvenile delinquency is also very divisive. Although the government has established a number of measures to reduce youth
crime, they are insufficient. The current laws have had ineffectual results since they didn't work to dissuade young people from breaking the law.
It is important to remember that when a case is heard, the circumstances and the type of the crime should be used as criteria to assess whether or not the alleged juvenile was able to understand his acts. In addition, the idea of horrific acts needs to be reconsidered. Simply establishing a threshold for punishment in terms of years does not represent the victim's sorrow or the thinking of the offender.