Juvenile Act has special rules for offenders between 16 and 18 yrs

Juvenile Act has special rules for offenders between 16 and 18 yrs
The rules under Juvenile Justice Act, 2015, provide for special provisions for children between 16 and 18 years who have committed heinous crimes.

The rules ensure that social ambience of the children is considered during the trial and, in case of conviction, they are kept in a “place of safety” till the age of 21 years.

Even after attaining 21 years, they would not be kept with regular convicts. The Women and Child Development Ministry on Wednesday released the draft rules which will come into effect after they are revised in accordance with the comments received from the public.

The special provisions provide for conducting the proceedings in camera and no joint trial of a child alleged to be in conflict with law with adult co-accused.

“The Children’s Court shall address the child in a child-friendly manner in order to put the child at ease and to encourage him to state the facts and circumstances without any fear,” says the rules.

The rules provide for considering the social circumstances of the child  and whether the child has himself been a victim of any offence in the past or has had a history of abuse and exploitation.

 If the child is found to be involved in the offence, the child may be sent to a place of safety till the age of 21 years.

The place of safety shall have segregation units for children in the age group of 16 to 18 years with pending inquiry in case of heinous offences and for children found to be involved in heinous offences upon completion of inquiry. 

The convicts of this age group who have been tried as an adult will be sent to the jail after 21 years to complete the remaining term of the sentence, but will be kept separately from the regular convicts. They would be monitored regularly for their social and psychological health.

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