The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2000 - A Critique
affiliation not provided to SSRN
July 13, 2011
The Act regarding the protection and care of juveniles was first passed in 1986, then in 2000 and finally the amendment to the Act was passed in 2006. Progressive changes have been made through the years but still there are a number of loopholes. The fact is that any legislation needs to be in pace with the society and the changes taking place throughout the world. This is exactly where the Act falters. On the face of it the Act is a well intended legislation but it has not followed a holistic approach.
A gaping hole in the legislation is regarding the age of juveniles. All individuals who have not completed eighteen years of age are supposed to be under the purview of this legislation. This was done obviously to protect the interests of the child. However, in the present age, there are many instances of children committing heinous crimes like murder, sexual assault, rape etc. Blame it on the media exposure, but the fact remains that these individuals cannot and should not be treated with leniency. Also, the maximum amount of punishment that can be awarded to a juvenile needs to be altered in such cases.
Something on the lines of the legislative waiver, which is practiced in the United States, needs to be formulated in India as well. In the absence of such a provision, it is very likely that people will try to protect their wards, which have been caught on the wrong side of the law, by claiming that they are juveniles. It is not only necessary to protect the juvenile’s rights but also to send out the right signals to other juveniles as well in order to prevent them from committing such crimes.
A lot of the provisions in the legislation have been left to be taken care of by the rules that are to be formulated by the concerned authorities. This is a major fallacy especially when the issue is something like that of adoption of the juvenile. In such respects the legislation is an incomplete legislation.
For the proper implementation of the legislation, it is pertinent that apart from sensitizing the people about the issue and ensuring proper functioning of the concerned authorities, the legislation needs to be designed to deal with the problems and issues of the society. It is the researcher’s submission that therapeutic jurisprudence, which is the study of the role of the law as a therapeutic agent, should be used for the improvement of the juvenile justice system and to ensure that the children get the best possible guidance and care.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 17
Keywords: Juvenile Justice Act, 2000, therapeutic jurisprudence
JEL Classification: K14working papers series
Date posted: July 15, 2011
© 2013 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
This page was processed by apollo3 in 0.688 seconds