Juvenile Justice System In India

Juvenile offending is the act of participating in some unlawful behavior against the society by the persons young in age. The term Juvenile Justice refers to fair and just treatment to youth or children in shaping their personality in the society. Juvenile Justice System means a procedure to tackle with the issues related to minors with respect to society. The main purpose of the system is to protect the minors by applying effective treatment and creating a positive human developing environment. The main aim of the system is to adopt measures that are rehabilitative in nature instead of being punitive. If any means a young individual commits or minor turns lawbreaker, then the Juvenile courts takes up the duty to foster delicate treatment and care through special institutions. Thus, it would encourage the Juvenile delinquents to find their path to lead a much better and decent life. The system of Juvenile Justice is considered as one of the most enlightening and developing system worldwide, focusing on the children’s growth. The central focus is to provide proper care to the unprotected child and the reformation of deviants.

Earlier there was no separate system for the juveniles. They were held into prison without trials and were even locked behind the bars accompanied by the desensitized criminals. It was prescribed by the penologists in the nineteenth century that punishment should be equal for both juveniles and adults. As per the history records, juveniles were treated similar to the adult criminals and were imprisoned, hanged and even transported.

In India, the Juvenile Justice System (JJS) aroused during the British rule. Prior the rule of the British, the juveniles were treated either by the family or society in general. Gradually, the Indian Constitution provided distinct treatment for children and women. The issue of juvenile lawbreakers were given separate treatment. The light was thrown on the Juvenile Justice System aftermath the Nirbhaya case, 2012 Delhi gang rape and murder when people expressed their hostile nature attitude and sentiments towards the court’s decision. The minor who was involved in the brutal case was demanded for death sentence by the public. There was chaos and roaring in the Indian parliament, as a result of which new law came into existence. The Juvenile Justice Care and Protection of Children 2015, was a provision of comprehensive nature for minors found and reported guilty of conflict with the law. The law also deals with minors in need of protection and care. This was implemented taking into considerations the conventions of the rights of the child along with other related international instruments. The conception that the children are not mature compared to adults and are not aware of the nature and post effects of their acts led to the development of the Juvenile Justice System worldwide. The idea is based on the principle of doli incapax i.e. children are off the capacity to form intentions of criminal nature. Hence, a minor cannot be held liable for any unlawful act. It should be noted that there is no general consensus about the definition of youth and child. In the matter of age or adultery, different statutes have different mandates. The new act is seemingly a progressive one and a policy shift is observed in the legislation of Juvenile Justice. It was mainly designed to adopt the parens patriae philosophy and prescribe institutionalized care and protection. Punishment of delinquents in case of serious offence is the only shift observed. The socialization and reformation policy of the young individuals with punishment as an exception is being adopted by the Juvenile Justice System. It can also be distinguished from the general criminal courts as in adopting informal hearing. In the existing Juvenile Justice act of 2015, significant amendments were made last year.

The principle on which Juvenile Justice System is based is rights of the child and welfare of the society. It’s main center of focus is rehabilitation and reformation. The aim is to maintain equality and opportunities available to the minors for their personality development. There should be personality transformation from negative to positive. However, taking into account the former experiences, it is necessary to bridge the broad gap between the practice and theory. In order to do so, we have to build an efficient and good infrastructure Juvenile Justice Administration. The dreams are carried by the new legislation and it is our duty to make those dreams reality.