Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi released the draft rules of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 proposing that children need to be reformed and reintegrated into society.
The draft rules also call for child friendly measures for police, Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) and children’s court.
As per the rules, board and the children’s court have to follow are the principle of best interest of the child and the objective of rehabilitation and reintegration of the child in society.
According to the Act, those aged 16 to 18 years and in conflict with law to be tried as adults in cases of heinous offences, has come into force from January 15, 2016.
“Every state government is required to set up at least one place of safety for the rehabilitation of children. The rules prescribe for extensive services to be provided to such children through regular monitoring,” said Gandhi.
It is proposed that every police station will have child friendly infrastructure, with special room designated for children in every court complex.
The rules were drafted by a multi-disciplinary committee including a senior judge and advocates, members of JJ Board and Child Welfare Committee, representatives of state governments, among other civil society organisations.
Another crucial factor is determining the age, said, Rashmi Saxena Sahni, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child development.
“Determination of age is an important factor. The child’s age should be determined in 30 days. The draft rule proposes that all government hospitals should constitute a medical board to this effect,” she said.
The rules also call for provisions like foster care and adoption for the children.
In addition, roles and responsibilities of various functionaries responsible for providing care and protection to children have been redefined to bring clarity, it says.
To facilitate quick and smooth adoption of children, the entire process has been made online and transparent, say the draft rules.
Another important feature includes punishable offences against children such as illegal adoption, corporal punishment in childcare institutions, providing children liquor or narcotic or psychotropic substance or tobacco products.
The draft rules are available on the ministry website www.wcd.nic.in for suggestions from civil society, NGOs and others.