Lok Sabha passes Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill, 2021

The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill, 2021 was passed in Lok Sabha on March 24, 2021. The Bill amends the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015. The Act, 2015 consists of provisions related to children in conflict with law and in need of care and protection. The Bill seeks to introduce measures for strengthening the child protection setup.

The Bill proposes the following changes, as per the Statement of Objects and Reasons of the Bill:

“Accordingly, the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill, 2021, inter alia, proposes: —

(a)  to strengthen child protection at district level by empowering District Magistrate including Additional District Magistrate to effectively coordinate and monitor the functions of various agencies responsible for implementation of the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act;

(b) to empower District Magistrate including Additional District Magistrate to authorise orders of adoption, in order to address issues of delay in adoption and to propose that appeals on the orders of adoption may be preferred to the Divisional Commissioner;

(c)  to strengthen the Child Welfare Committee by incorporating provisions relating to educational qualifications for the members and stipulating eligibility conditions for selection of the committee;

(d) to categorise offences wherein maximum sentence is more than seven years imprisonment but no minimum sentence, or a minimum sentence of less than seven years has been provided as “serious offences” under the Juvenile Justice Act; and

(e) to remove difficulties in interpretation of the Juvenile Justice Act.”[1]

[1] Statement of Objects and Reasons of The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill, 2021.

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