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Juvenile Justice Board


Juvenile Justice Board
Juvenile Justice Board

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Juvenile Justice Board

Section 4 outlines the establishment and composition of Juvenile Justice Boards (JJBs) for each district, tasked with handling matters concerning children in conflict with the law under this Act. Here's a detailed breakdown:


Constitution of JJBs: Despite the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, the State Government is mandated to set up one or more Juvenile Justice Boards in every district. These boards are entrusted with exercising powers and fulfilling functions pertaining to children in conflict with the law as per this Act.


Composition of a Board: Each Board shall comprise a Metropolitan Magistrate or a Judicial Magistrate of First Class (referred to as Principal Magistrate) possessing a minimum of three years of experience, along with two social workers chosen in a manner prescribed by law. Notably, at least one of these social workers must be a woman. Together, they form a Bench endowed with the powers vested in a Metropolitan Magistrate or a Judicial Magistrate of First Class under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.


Qualifications of Social Workers: Individuals appointed as social workers to the Board must demonstrate significant involvement in child-related health, education, or welfare activities for a duration of at least seven years, or possess professional credentials in fields such as child psychology, psychiatry, sociology, or law.


Eligibility Criteria: Certain disqualifications are outlined for potential members of the Board, including past involvement in human rights or child rights violations, convictions for offenses of moral turpitude, dismissal from government service, or engagement in acts like child abuse, child labor, or other violations of human rights or immoral conduct.


Training and Sensitization: The State Government is tasked with ensuring that all members of the Board, including the Principal Magistrate, undergo induction training and sensitization sessions on matters such as care, protection, rehabilitation, legal provisions, and justice for children within sixty days of their appointment.


Term of Office:The tenure of Board members, along with the procedure for resignation, is to be determined by regulations.


Termination of Membership: The State Government reserves the right to terminate the membership of any Board member, except the Principal Magistrate, following an inquiry, under circumstances such as misuse of powers vested by this Act, prolonged absence from proceedings without valid justification, failure to attend the requisite number of sittings in a year, or becoming ineligible as per the criteria outlined in subsection (4) during their term.

 
 

Powers, functions and responsibilities of the Board

Section 8 delineates the powers, functions, and responsibilities entrusted to the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) in detail. Let's break down each aspect:


Exclusive Jurisdiction: The Board, established for each district, is vested with exclusive authority to handle all proceedings concerning children in conflict with the law within its jurisdiction, overriding any conflicting provisions in other laws.


Exercise of Powers: The powers granted to the Board under this Act can also be exercised by the High Court and the Children’s Court, particularly when cases come before them under Section 19 or during appeal, revision, or other legal proceedings.


Functions and Responsibilities: The duties of the Board encompass several crucial aspects:


Informed Participation: Ensuring the active involvement and understanding of both the child and their parent or guardian throughout the entire process.

  

Protection of Rights: Safeguarding the rights of the child at every stage, including apprehension, inquiry, aftercare, and rehabilitation.

  

Access to Legal Aid: Facilitating the provision of legal aid for the child through legal services institutions.

  

Interpreter Services: Providing interpreters or translators, as necessary, to assist the child if they do not understand the language used in the proceedings.

  

Social Investigation: Directing a social investigation into the circumstances surrounding the alleged offense, with a report to be submitted within fifteen days of the child's first appearance before the Board.

  

Adjudication: Adjudicating and resolving cases of children in conflict with the law in accordance with the prescribed inquiry process.

  

Transfer of Cases: Transferring cases to the Committee when a child alleged to be in conflict with the law is deemed to be in need of care and protection, recognizing that a child can simultaneously fall under both categories.

  

Individual Care Plan: Issuing a final order inclusive of an individual care plan for the child's rehabilitation, with provisions for follow-up by designated authorities or non-governmental organizations.

  

Declaration of Fit Persons: Conducting inquiries to ascertain suitable caregivers for children in conflict with the law.

  

Inspection Visits: Conducting monthly inspections of residential facilities for such children and recommending improvements to the relevant authorities.

  

Filing FIRs: Directing the police to register First Information Reports (FIRs) for offenses committed against children in conflict with the law based on complaints made under this Act or other applicable laws.

  

Filing FIRs for Children in Need of Care and Protection: Similarly, directing the police to register FIRs for offenses against children in need of care and protection based on written complaints by the Committee.

  

Inspection of Adult Jails: Regularly inspecting adult jails to ensure no child is unlawfully detained and taking immediate action to transfer any such child to an observation home or a place of safety.

  

Additional Functions: Performing any other functions as may be prescribed by law.

 
 


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