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2016-01-27T18:03:52+05:30
The Apprentices Act, 1850 was the first legislation dealing with children in conflict with law, providing for binding over of children under the age of 15 years found to have committed petty offences as apprentices. Subsequently, the Reformatory Schools Act, 1897 provided that children up to the age of 15 years sentenced to imprisonment may be sent to reformatory cell.Juvenile Justice Act, 1986 was enacted by our parliament in order to provide care, protection, treatment, development and rehabilitation of neglected or delinquent juveniles and for the adjudication of certain matters relating to, and disposition of, delinquent juveniles as a uniform system of juvenile justice mechanism throughout our country. Under the Act of 1986, Section 2(a) defined the term juvenile as a "boy who has not attained the age of 16 years and a girl who has not attained the age of 18 years" but later on the parliament enacted Juvenile Justice Act, 2000 (herein after 'JJ Act') and the age bar was raised to 18 years for both girl and boy. The JJ Act, 2000 lays down that juvenile in conflict with law may be kept in an observation home while children in need of care and protection need to be kept in a children home during the pendency of proceedings before the competent authority. This provision is in contradistinction with the earlier Acts which provided for keeping all children in an observation home during the pendency of their proceedings, presuming children to be innocent till proved guilty. The maximum detention could be imposed on a juvenile is for 3 years remand to Special Home irrespective of the gravity of offence committed by him and JJ Act, 2000 immunes the child who is less than 18 Years of age at the time of the commission of the alleged offence and from trial through Criminal Court or any punishment under Criminal Law in view of Section 17 of the Juvenile Act.
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