26 May 2016 Current Affairs: Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi has released Draft Model Rules 2016 to repeal the existing rules for effective implementation of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 on 25 May 2016 . The new rules will repeal the Model Rules, 2007.
Rules are based on the philosophy of reformation, rehabilitation and social integration, rather than retribution.
It lays procedures for the functioning and composition of Juvenile Justice Boards, adoption, determining the age of the child wherever a claim of juvenility is raised, and offences against children among other things.
Features of the Draft rules of Juvenile Justice Act 2015 : No child between 16 and 18 years of age in conflict with law will be handcuffed or sent to jail or lock-up. Proper medical and legal aid will be provided to juvenile criminals and their parents and guardians will be duly informed. It asks every state government to set up at least one place of safety for the rehabilitation of such children.
Determination of Age : It also prescribes time bound procedures for determination of age.Whenever a claim of juvenility is raised, it has to be done within 30 days from the date of submission of application.All government hospitals will be required to constitute permanent medical boards for this purpose. If the medical board gives a range of age, the age of the child on the lower side will be considered to give benefit to the child.
Welfare Officer : It provides for one child welfare officer to be deployed in child care institution as rehabilitation-cum-placement officer to ensure the development of the child.The task is to identify the skills and aptitude of children, and facilitate financial support for their self-employment.
Rehabilitation Card : It is provided for detailed follow-up for regular monitoring of the rehabilitation-cum-development of the child.
Aftercare Schemes : State governments to prepare such scheme for providing accommodation, education, employment to children who turn 18 and leave institutional care.
Offences : The draft also includes new offences against children like
a) Sale and procurement of children for any purpose
b) Corporal punishment in child care institutions
c) Use of child by militant or adult groups
d) Giving children intoxicating liquor or narcotic drug or psychotropic substance or tobacco products
Juvenile Justice Board : It provides for composition and function of the Juvenile Justice Board or Juvenile Justice Committee.The Board will determine the age of the child within 30 days from date of submission of application.It will make preliminary assessment with regard to the child’s mental and physical capacity, ability to understand the consequences of the alleged offence and the circumstances is conducted within a period of three months.The rules provides for an appeal to the children’s court for those aggrieved by the order of the JJ board.The JJ Bill 2015 was earlier passed by Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha on 7 May and 22 December 2015, respectively. It came into effect on 15 January 2016.
The JJ Act, 2015 covers almost all the offences against children, which were not covered in the JJ Act, 2000.The Act of 2000 covered limited offences against children like cruelty, employment for begging, giving intoxicating liquor or narcotic drugs to children.
The Act of 2015 covers offences like sale and procurement of children for any purpose including illegal adoption; corporal punishment in child care institutions and offences against disabled children.