New Juvenile Justice Act to be tabled soon

Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi on Friday informed the Lok Sabha that an amended Juvenile Justice Bill is in the process of seeking Cabinet approval, and would be introduced in Parliament soon. The Bill would provide for harsh punishment for offenders between 16 and 18 years of age who indulged in heinous crimes.

“The draft Bill at this stage has been circulated for inter-ministerial consultation. After the approval of the Cabinet, the Bill is likely to be introduced in Parliament,” the minister told the House.

“Special provisions are proposed to be made in the revision of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000, to address heinous offences committed by children above the age of 16, which will act as a deterrent for child offenders committing such crimes, and will also protect the right to justice of victims,” she said.

Gandhi added that other revisions are also proposed in the Bill. They include a clearly defined role of statutory structures such as Child Welfare Committees and Juvenile Justice Boards, strengthening punitive measures for offences committed against children and streamlining adoption procedures, including bestowing of statutory status to the Central Adoption Resource Authority

She said feedback from civil society and individuals has been invited, and the draft Bill had also been sent to all state governments, UT administrations and the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights for their comments.

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