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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Rajya Sabha Passed Juvenile Justice Bill, 2015: Here’s All You Need To Know

The Rajya Sabha passed the Juvenile Justice Bill, 2015 after deputy chairman of the Rajya Sabha, PJ Kurien put it to vote on Tuesday.
The swift passage of the Bill comes in the backdrop of the release of the former juvenile convict in the 16 December 2012 gangrape and murder case.
The Lok Sabha had passed the bill in May 2015.
The Bill will turn into law after the President approves it.
What’s New in the 2015 Bill?
The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill 2015 has been designed to replace the existing Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill 2014.
New age for offender: The age of juveniles is officially lowered to 16 from 18 years.
Type of crime: The crimes have been categorised into petty, serious and heinous based on the Indian Penal Code(IPC). According to Maneka Gandhi, heinous crimes have been defined as murder, rape, acid attack and kidnapping for ransom.
Punishment: Minimum punishment will be 3-7 years in prison for heinous crimes, while the offender will be put in prison for three years for a petty offence.
Action against heinous crimes: Under the Juvenile Justice Bill 2015, any offender between the age of 16-18 years will be assessed by the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB). The JJB has now been given the option to transfer these cases under the heinous category to a Children’s Session Court. No juvenile will be sent directly to jail.
On the board: The JJB will comprise of psychologists, social workers and experts.
Providing safety: If the offender is below the age of 21 and the trial is underway or has concluded, he/she will be provided with a “place of safety”.
Evaluation post 21 years: After crossing the age of 21, he/she will undego evaluation and based on the result, will either be released on probation or sent to jail.
CARA: Previously autonomous Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) has been brought under the ambit of the law.
Offences defined in the law: A new set of offences against children have been defined in the law. These new offences include sale and procurement of children for any purpose including illegal adoption, corporal punishment in childcare institutions, use of children by militant groups, offences against disabled children and, kidnapping and abduction of children.

The Bill is aimed at protecting children who are victims of crime as well as providing a fair chance for the improvement to child offenders.

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