Standing committee recommends review of juveniles' clauses

A parliamentary standing committee has recommended that clauses dealing with differential treatment of children involved in crime between 16-18 years of age, as provisioned in the Juvenile Justice Act needs to be "reviewed".

New Delhi: A parliamentary standing committee has recommended that clauses dealing with differential treatment of children involved in crime between 16-18 years of age, as provisioned in the Juvenile Justice Act needs to be "reviewed".

In a report tabled in both houses of Parliament on Wednesday, the department related standing committee on Human Resource Development said that its attention was drawn to the fact that transfer of children above 16 years of age alleged to have committed a heinous crime to any other judicial authority would deprive them of the right to rehabilitation.

"The committee recommends that all relevant clauses dealing with children's courts and differential treatment of children between 16-18 years of age need to be reviewed," the report said.

The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children), Bill 2014 was introduced in the Lok Sabha in August 2014 and had been referred to a department related standing committee.

The committee also noted that the bill provides a narrow definition of juveniles and is a digression from internationally recognised and recommended concept and principles of aftercare.

"Rehabilitation of children who are in need of care and protection of those in conflict with law cannot always end by the age of 18 years," it said.

It was also of the view that in order to strengthen the functioning of Juvenile Justice Board, it is necessary that the chairperson is in a position to give adequate time and attention to his responsibilities.

"One suggestion which has come to the committee is to have a retired district and session judge as the chairperson of the JJB," the report said.

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