The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Act, 2021


March 25, 2021

The Lok Sabha on March 24, 2021 passed the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill, 2021 that has widened the ambit of ‘serious offences’ that a juvenile can be charged with.

According to the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, which this new bill amends, juvenile offences can be categorised as petty, serious and heinous.

With this bill, the government has brought offences that can garner a maximum punishment of more than seven years and a minimum punishment that is not prescribed or is of less than seven years under the ambit of ‘serious offences’.

It also makes offences with punishments ranging from three to seven years as cognisable from non-cognisable. This means that a juvenile accused of such offences can be arrested without a warrant.

The new bill also empowers district magistrates (DMs) and additional DMs to issue adoption orders, in a bid to strengthen the child care system and adoption processes.

It also changes the criteria for appointments to child welfare committees (CWC) and makes it mandatory for the personnel to either have a background in or be a practicing professional in health, education or children’s welfare.

The bill was passed unanimously in the Lok Sabha.

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