Draft Model Rules under Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act , 2015

The Ministry of Women and Child Development released the Model Rules(Draft) under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015. The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2015 had come into force from 15th January, 2016 repealing the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000. The Act is inclusive of all substantiated provisions  for protection of the children who are in conflict with law.

A Multidisciplinary Committee has been constituted to draft the model rules. The Committee is comprised of a Senior Judge and Advocates, Members of Juvenile Board and Child Welfare Committee, representatives of State Governments, representatives of the Ministry of Women and Child Development, mental health expert, and civil society organizations, all working in the field of child protection.

The Particularity of this Act include: special provisions for children who commit vicious offences in the age group of 16-18 years; forming new offences which are not been covered under any other law. These law include: sale and procurement of children and sale of drugs or tobacco products to children. The Act given legal status to the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) to perform its function more effectively. The Drafted Rules will prescribe for a comprehensive list of function of CARA, to facilitate its smooth functioning.

The Act is introduced with the special chapter on offences against child and many offences are listed which were not covered in any of the other law. These include: sale and procurement of children for any purpose including illegal adoption, corporal punishment in child care institutions, giving children intoxicating liquor or narcotic drug or psychotropic substance or tobacco products, use of child by militant or adult groups, offences against disabled children and, kidnapping and abduction of children.

For the implementation of Act, certain rules are made. These rules will provide the child friendly procedures for reporting, recording and trial to police, Juvenile Justice Board and Children Court. It is intended that every police station must have child friendly infrastructure, correspondingly every Court Complex must be nominated with Special Children Room.

These drafted rules are signified regarding the special treatment to the age group of 16-18 years who commit vicious crimes and developmental needs of children as well as child friendly procedures to be implemented in the police stations, courts etc. Every State Government must have to set up at least one “place of safety” in a State for the rehabilitation of such children. The Act will provide for various De-institutionalization measures to children such as adoption, foster care and sponsorship. The drafted rules will provide  the detailed procedure to implement these provisions. Before drafting the Model Rules, Various Models of Group Foster were reviewed. Additionally, the roles and responsibilities of various executors are clearly re-defined to provide care and protection to children without any ambiguity in rules.

This Act has provided a new dimension to the process of adoption by making it online and transparent. Child care institutions are required to develop linkages with Specialized Adoption Agencies so that the pool of adoptable children can be increased and these children can be brought into the adoption process. To standardize and simplify the procedure of these Drafted Rules, a total of 49 extensive forms have also been drafted. These include: Separate individual care forms for children in need of care and protection and those in conflict with law have been created, form for social background report by the police. Form for period review of children in the age group of 16-18 years who are placed in “place of safety”, will assist in proper review of the progress of the child and also ensure children are provided with adequate services for their rehabilitation. Several other forms related to periodic report by probation officer, case monitoring sheet, Comprehensive psycho-social report, Rehabilitation card, etc. will go a long way in better understanding and implementation of the Act.

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