Section 38 in The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act

Title: Procedure for declaring a child legally free for adoption

Description: (1) In case of orphan and abandoned child, the Committee shall make all efforts for tracing the parents or guardians of the child and on completion of such inquiry, if it is established that the child is either an orphan having no one to take care, or abandoned, the Committee shall declare the child legally free for adoption: Provided that such declaration shall be made within a period of two months from the date of production of the child, for children who are up to two years of age and within four months for children above two years of age: Provided further that notwithstanding anything contained in this regard in any other law for the time being in force, no first information report shall be registered against any biological parent in the process of inquiry relating to an abandoned or surrendered child under this Act. (2) In case of surrendered child, the institution where the child has been placed by the Committee on an application for surrender, shall bring the case before the Committee immediately on completion of the period specified in section 35, for declaring the child legally free for adoption. (3) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, a child of a mentally retarded parents or a unwanted child of victim of sexual assault, such child may be declared free for adoption by the Committee, by following the procedure under this Act. (4) The decision to declare an orphan, abandoned or surrendered child as legally free for adoption shall be taken by at least three members of the Committee. (5) The Committee shall inform the State Agency and the Authority regarding the number of children declared as legally free for adoption and number of cases pending for decision in the manner as may be prescribed, every month.

Title: Process of rehabilitation and social re integration

Description: (1) The process of rehabilitation and social integration of children under this Act shall be undertaken, based on the individual care plan of the child, preferably through family based care such as by restoration to family or guardian with or without supervision or sponsorship, or adoption or foster care: Provided that all efforts shall be made to keep siblings placed in institutional or non-institutional care, together, unless it is in their best interest not to be kept together. (2) For children in conflict with law the process of rehabilitation and social integration shall be undertaken in the observation homes, if the child is not released on bail or in special homes or place of safety or fit facility or with a fit person, if placed there by the order of the Board. (3) The children in need of care and protection who are not placed in families for any reason may be placed in an institution registered for such children under this Act or with a fit person or a fit facility, on a temporary or long-term basis, and the process of rehabilitation and social integration shall be undertaken wherever the child is so placed. (4) The Children in need of care and protection who are leaving institutional care or children in conflict with law leaving special homes or place of safety on attaining eighteen years of age, may be provided financial support as specified in section 46, to help them to re-integrate into the mainstream of the society.

Title: Restoration of child in need of care and protection

Description: (1) The restoration and protection of a child shall be the prime objective of any Children's Home, Specialised Adoption Agency or open shelter. (2) The Childrens Home, Specialised Adoption Agency or an open shelter, as the case may be, shall take such steps as are considered necessary for the restoration and protection of a child deprived of his family environment temporarily or permanently where such child is under their care and protection. (3) The Committee shall have the powers to restore any child in need of care and protection to his parents, guardian or fit person, as the case may be, after determining the suitability of the parents or guardian or fit person to take care of the child, and give them suitable directions. Explanation.—For the purposes of this section, "restoration and protection of a child" means restoration to— (a) parents; (b) adoptive parents; (c) foster parents; (d) guardian; or (e) fit person.

Title: Registration of child care institutions

Description: (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, all institutions, whether run by a State Government or by voluntary or non-governmental organisations, which are meant, either wholly or partially, for housing children in need of care and protection or children in conflict with law, shall, be registered under this Act in such manner as may be prescribed, within a period of six months from the date of commencement of this Act, regardless of whether they are receiving grants from the Central Government or, as the case may be, the State Government or not: Provided that the institutions having valid registration under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 (56 of 2000) on the date of commencement of this Act shall be deemed to have been registered under this Act. (2) At the time of registration under this section, the State Government shall determine and record the capacity and purpose of the institution and shall register the institution as a Childrens Home or open shelter or Specialised Adoption Agency or observation home or special home or place of safety, as the case may be. (3) On receipt of application for registration under sub-section (1), from an existing or new institution housing children in need of care and protection or children in conflict with law, the State Government may grant provisional registration, within one month from the date of receipt of application, for a maximum period of six months, in order to bring such institution under the purview of this Act, and shall determine the capacity of the Home which shall be mentioned in the registration certificate: Provided that if the said institution does not fulfil the prescribed criteria for registration, within the period specified in sub-section (1), the provisional registration shall stand cancelled and the provisions of sub-section (5) shall apply. (4) If the State Government does not issue a provisional registration certificate within one month from the date of application, the proof of receipt of application for registration shall be treated as provisional registration to run an institution for a maximum period of six months. (5) If the application for registration is not disposed of within six months by any officer or officers of any State Government, it shall be regarded as dereliction of duty on their part by their higher controlling authority and appropriate departmental proceedings shall be initiated. (6) The period of registration of an institution shall be five years, and it shall be subject to renewal in every five years. (7) The State Government may, after following the procedure as may be prescribed, cancel or withhold registration, as the case may be, of such institutions which fail to provide rehabilitation and reintegration services as specified in section 53 and till such time that the registration of an institution is renewed or granted, the State Government shall manage the institution. (8) Any child care institution registered under this section shall be duty bound to admit children, subject to the capacity of the institution, as directed by the Committee, whether they are receiving grants from the Central Government or, as the case may be, the State Government or not. (9) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, the inspection committee appointed under section 54, shall have the powers to inspect any institution housing children, even if not registered under this Act to determine whether such institution is housing children in need of care and protection.

Title: Penalty for non registration of child care institutions

Description: Any person, or persons, in-charge of an institution housing children in need of care and protection and children in conflict with law, who fails to comply with the provisions of sub-section (1) of section 41, shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to one year or a fine of not less than one lakh rupees or both: Provided that every thirty days delay in applying for registration shall be considered as a separate offence.