Section 27 in The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act

Title:  Child Welfare Committee

Description: (1) The State Government shall by notification in the Official Gazette constitute for every district, one or more Child Welfare Committees for exercising the powers and to discharge the duties conferred on such Committees in relation to children in need of care and protection under this Act and ensure that induction training and sensitisation of all members of the committee is provided within two months from the date of notification. (2) The Committee shall consist of a Chairperson, and four other members as the State Government may think fit to appoint, of whom at least one shall be a woman and another, an expert on the matters concerning children. (3) The District Child Protection Unit shall provide a Secretary and other staff that may be required for secretarial support to the Committee for its effective functioning. (4) No person shall be appointed as a member of the Committee unless such person has been actively involved in health, education or welfare activities pertaining to children for at least seven years or is a practicing professional with a degree in child psychology or psychiatry or law or social work or sociology or human development. (5) No person shall be appointed as a member unless he possesses such other qualifications as may be prescribed. (6) No person shall be appointed for a period of more than three years as a member of the Committee. (7) The appointment of any member of the Committee shall be terminated by the State Government after making an inquiry, if— (i) he has been found guilty of misuse of power vested on him under this Act; (ii) he has been convicted of an offence involving moral turpitude and such conviction has not been reversed or he has not been granted full pardon in respect of such offence; (iii) he fails to attend the proceedings of the Committee consecutively for three months without any valid reason or he fails to attend less than three-fourths of the sittings in a year. (8) The District Magistrate shall conduct a quarterly review of the functioning of the Committee. (9) The Committee shall function as a Bench and 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. (10) The District Magistrate shall be the grievances redressal authority for the Child Welfare Committee and anyone connected with the child, may file a petition before

Title: Procedure in relation to Committee

Description: (1) The Committee shall meet at least twenty days in a month and shall observe such rules and procedures with regard to the transaction of business at its meetings, as may be prescribed. (2) A visit to an existing child care institution by the Committee, to check its functioning and well being of children shall be considered as a sitting of the Committee. (3) A child in need of care and protection may be produced before an individual member of the Committee for being placed in a Childrens Home or fit person when the Committee is not in session. (4) In the event of any difference of opinion among the members of the Committee at the time of taking any decision, the opinion of the majority shall prevail but where there is no such majority, the opinion of the Chairperson shall prevail. (5) Subject to the provisions of sub-section (1), the Committee may act, notwithstanding the absence of any member of the Committee, and no order made by the Committee shall be invalid by reason only of the absence of any member during any stage of the proceeding. Provided that there shall be at least three members present at the time of final disposal of the case.

Title: Powers of Committee

Description: (1) The Committee shall have the authority to dispose of cases for the care, protection, treatment, development and rehabilitation of children in need of care and protection, as well as to provide for their basic needs and protection. (2) Where a Committee has been constituted for any area, such Committee shall, notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, but save as otherwise expressly provided in this Act, have the power to deal exclusively with all proceedings under this Act relating to children in need of care and protection

Title: Functions and responsibilities of Committee

Description: The functions and responsibilities of the Committee shall include— (i) taking cognizance of and receiving the children produced before it; (ii) conducting inquiry on all issues relating to and affecting the safety and well-being of the children under this Act; (iii) directing the Child Welfare Officers or probation officers or District Child Protection Unit or non-governmental organisations to conduct social investigation and submit a report before the Committee; (iv) conducting inquiry for declaring fit persons for care of children in need of care and protection; (v) directing placement of a child in foster care; (vi) ensuring care, protection, appropriate rehabilitation or restoration of children in need of care and protection, based on the childs individual care plan and passing necessary directions to parents or guardians or fit persons or childrens homes or fit facility in this regard; (vii) selecting registered institution for placement of each child requiring institutional support, based on the childs age, gender, disability and needs and keeping in mind the available capacity of the institution; (viii) conducting at least two inspection visits per month of residential facilities for children in need of care and protection and recommending action for improvement in quality of services to the District Child Protection Unit and the State Government; (ix) certifying the execution of the surrender deed by the parents and ensuring that they are given time to reconsider their decision as well as making all efforts to keep the family together; (x) ensuring that all efforts are made for restoration of abandoned or lost children to their families following due process, as may be prescribed; (xi) declaration of orphan, abandoned and surrendered child as legally free for adoption after due inquiry; (xii) taking suo motu cognizance of cases and reaching out to children in need of care and protection, who are not produced before the Committee, provided that such decision is taken by at least three members; (xiii) taking action for rehabilitation of sexually abused children who are reported as children in need of care and protection to the Committee by Special Juvenile Police Unit or local police, as the case may be, under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (32 of 2012); (xiv) dealing with cases referred by the Board under sub-section (2) of section 17; (xv) co-ordinate with the police, labour department and other agencies involved in the care and protection of children with support of the District Child Protection Unit or the State Government; (xvi) in case of a complaint of abuse of a child in any child care institution, the Committee shall conduct an inquiry and give directions to the police or the District Child Protection Unit or labour department or childline services, as the case may be; (xvii) accessing appropriate legal services for children; (xviii) such other functions and responsibilities, as may be prescribed.

Title: Production before Committee

Description: (1) Any child in need of care and protection may be produced before the Committee by any of the following persons, namely:— (i) any police officer or special juvenile police unit or a designated Child Welfare Police Officer or any officer of District Child Protection Unit or inspector appointed under any labour law for the time being in force; (ii) any public servant; (iii) Childline Services or any voluntary or non-governmental organisation or any agency as may be recognised by the State Government; (iv) Child Welfare Officer or probation officer; (v) any social worker or a public spirited citizen; (vi) by the child himself; or (vii) any nurse, doctor or management of a nursing home, hospital or maternity home: Provided that the child shall be produced before the Committee without any loss of time but within a period of twenty-four hours excluding the time necessary for the journey. (2) The State Government may make rules consistent with this Act, to provide for the manner of submitting the report to the Committee and the manner of sending and entrusting the child to childrens home or fit facility or fit person, as the case may be, during the period of the inquiry.