Section 3 in The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act

Title: General principles to be followed in administration of Act

Description: The Central Government, the State Governments, the Board, and other agencies, as the case may be, while implementing the provisions of this Act shall be guided by the following fundamental principles, namely:— (i) Principle of presumption of innocence: Any child shall be presumed to be an innocent of any mala fide or criminal intent up to the age of eighteen years. (ii) Principle of dignity and worth: All human beings shall be treated with equal dignity and rights. (iii) Principle of participation: Every child shall have a right to be heard and to participate in all processes and decisions affecting his interest and the childs views shall be taken into consideration with due regard to the age and maturity of the child. (iv) Principle of best interest: All decisions regarding the child shall be based on the primary consideration that they are in the best interest of the child and to help the child to develop full potential. (v) Principle of family responsibility: The primary responsibility of care, nurture and protection of the child shall be that of the biological family or adoptive or foster parents, as the case may be. (vi) Principle of safety: All measures shall be taken to ensure that the child is safe and is not subjected to any harm, abuse or maltreatment while in contact with the care and protection system, and thereafter. (vii) Positive measures: All resources are to be mobilised including those of family and community, for promoting the well-being, facilitating development of identity and providing an inclusive and enabling environment, to reduce vulnerabilities of children and the need for intervention under this Act. (viii) Principle of non-stigmatising semantics: Adversarial or accusatory words are not to be used in the processes pertaining to a child. (ix) Principle of non-waiver of rights: No waiver of any of the right of the child is permissible or valid, whether sought by the child or person acting on behalf of the child, or a Board or a Committee and any non-exercise of a fundamental right shall not amount to waiver. (x) Principle of equality and non-discrimination: There shall be no discrimination against a child on any grounds including sex, caste, ethnicity, place of birth, disability and equality of access, opportunity and treatment shall be provided to every child. (xi) Principle of right to privacy and confidentiality: Every child shall have a right to protection of his privacy and confidentiality, by all means and throughout the judicial process. (xii) Principle of institutionalisation as a measure of last resort: A child shall be placed in institutional care as a step of last resort after making a reasonable inquiry. (xiii) Principle of repatriation and restoration: Every child in the juvenile justice system shall have the right to be re-united with his family at the earliest and to be restored to the same socio-economic and cultural status that he was in, before coming under the purview of this Act, unless such restoration and repatriation is not in his best interest. (xiv) Principle of fresh start: All past records of any child under the Juvenile Justice system should be erased except in special circumstances.. (xv) Principle of diversion: Measures for dealing with children in conflict with law without resorting to judicial proceedings shall be promoted unless it is in the best interest of the child or the society as a whole. (xvi) Principles of natural justice: Basic procedural standards of fairness shall be adhered to, including the right to a fair hearing, rule against bias and the right to review, by all persons or bodies, acting in a judicial capacity under this Act.

Title: Juvenile Justice Board

Description: (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974), the State Government shall, constitute for every district, one or more Juvenile Justice Boards for exercising the powers and discharging its functions relating to children in conflict with law under this Act. (2) A Board shall consist of a Metropolitan Magistrate or a Judicial Magistrate of First Class not being Chief Metropolitan Magistrate or Chief Judicial Magistrate (hereinafter referred to as Principal Magistrate) with at least three years experience and two social workers selected in such manner as may be prescribed, of whom at least one shall be a woman, forming a Bench and every such Bench shall have the powers conferred by the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974) on a Metropolitan Magistrate or, as the case may be, a Judicial Magistrate of First Class. (3) No social worker shall be appointed as a member of the Board unless such person has been actively involved in health, education, or welfare activities pertaining to children for atleast seven years or a practicing professional with a degree in child psychology, psychiatry, sociology or law. (4) No person shall be eligible for selection as a member of the Board, if he— (i) has any past record of violation of human rights or child rights; (ii) has been convicted of an offence involving moral turpitude, and such conviction has not been reversed or has not been granted full pardon in respect of such offence; (iii) has been removed or dismissed from service of the Central Government or a State Government or an undertaking or corporation owned or controlled by the Central Government or a State Government; (iv) has ever indulged in child abuse or employment of child labour or any other violation of human rights or immoral act. (5) The State Government shall ensure that induction training and sensitisation of all members including Principal Magistrate of the Board on care, protection, rehabilitation, legal provisions and justice for children, as may be prescribed, is provided within a period of sixty days from the date of appointment. (6) The term of office of the members of the Board and the manner in which such member may resign shall be such, as may be prescribed. (7) The appointment of any member of the Board, except the Principal Magistrate, may be terminated after holding an inquiry by the State Government, if he— (i) has been found guilty of misuse of power vested under this Act; or (ii) fails to attend the proceedings of the Board consecutively for three months without any valid reason; or (iii) fails to attend less than three-fourths of the sittings in a year; or (iv) becomes ineligible under sub-section (4) during his term as a member.

Title: Placement of person who cease to be a child during process of inquiry

Description: Where an inquiry has been initiated in respect of any child under this Act, and during the course of such inquiry, the child completes the age of eighteen years, then, notwithstanding anything contained in this Act or in any other law for the time being in force, the inquiry may be continued by the Board and orders may be passed in respect of such person as if such person had continued to be a child.

Title:  Placement of persons who committed an offence when person was below the age of eighteen years

Description: (1) Any person, who has completed eighteen years of age, and is apprehended for committing an offence when he was below the age of eighteen years, then, such person shall, subject to the provisions of this section, be treated as a child during the process of inquiry. (2) The person referred to in sub-section (1), if not released on bail by the Board shall be placed in a place of safety during the process of inquiry. (3) The person referred to in sub-section (1) shall be treated as per the procedure specified under the provisions of this Act.

Title: Procedure in relation to Board

Description: (1) The Board shall meet at such times and shall observe such rules in regard to the transaction of business at its meetings, as may be prescribed and shall ensure that all procedures are child friendly and that the venue is not intimidating to the child and does not resemble as regular courts. (2) A child in conflict with law may be produced before an individual member of the Board, when the Board is not in sitting.. (3) A Board may act notwithstanding the absence of any member of the Board, and no order passed by the Board shall be invalid by the reason only of the absence of any member during any stage of proceedings: Provided that there shall be atleast two members including the Principal Magistrate present at the time of final disposal of the case or in making an order under sub-section (3) of section 18. (4) In the event of any difference of opinion among the members of the Board in the interim or final disposal, the opinion of the majority shall prevail, but where there is no such majority, the opinion of the Principal Magistrate, shall prevail.

CHAPTER 2 GENERAL PRINCIPLE OF CARE AND PROTECTION OF CHILDREN