No minor will be handcuffed: Maneka

Child's hands in handcuffs resting on table

No child between 16 and 18 years of age in conflict with law will be handcuffed or sent to jail or lock-up, according to the draft rules of the Juvenile Justice Act 2015 released on Wednesday.

The rules released by Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi prescribe detailed child-friendly procedures for the police and the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) and Children’s court to deal with children in conflict with law.

According to the draft rules, proper medical and legal aid will be provided to juvenile criminals, and their parents and guardians will be duly informed.

“The Board and the Children’s Court are to adhere to the principle of the best interest of the child and the objective of rehabilitation and reintegration of the child in the society,” Ms. Gandhi said, after releasing the draft rules.

‘Place of safety’

According to the rules, every State government is required to set up at least one ‘place of safety’ for the rehabilitation of such children. The rules prescribe extensive services to be provided to such children.

The rules were drafted by a multi-disciplinary committee comprising a senior judge and advocates, members of Juvenile Justice Board and Child Welfare Committee, representatives of State governments, mental health experts and civil society members.

More offences included

Several new offences against children have also been included in the Act such as sale and procurement of children for any purpose, corporal punishment in child care institutions, use of children by militant or adult groups, giving children liquor or narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances or tobacco products.

It also prescribes detailed procedures for determination of age. The JJB or the Juvenile Justice Committee will determine the age of the child within 30 days from the date of submission of application.

Source: The Hindu

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