Services: Juvenile Justice System
Juvenile Justice System
The juvenile justice system is child-centred, with the overall philosophy and goal being rehabilitation and social re-integration of every child. The philosophy is equally applicable to both groups of children – children in need of care and protection and children in conflict with law. The procedure governing the juvenile justice system socio-legal in nature and they are framed within the context of child rights and best interest of the child.
The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act,2015 has mandated separate set of procedures for the two groups of children. All persons under the age of 18 are tried under this Act vis-à-vis adults that are tried under the criminal justice system which excludes retribution and punishment.
Adherence to child rights is an integral part of the juvenile justice system. Chapter II of the Act outlines 16 ‘General Principles of Care and Protection of Children’ which include rights such as right to ‘dignity and worth’, ‘right to participation’, ‘best interest’, ‘principle of family responsibility’ and ‘principles of natural justice’.
Therefore, it is mandatory that all procedures, at every level and stage of a child’s case, from the time of apprehension/arrest, through the process of inquiry to Final Order, must be based within the overarching principles as enumerated in the Act.