Child offenders won’t be put in jail, say new rules
NEW DELHI: No longer can police register an FIR against underage offenders accused of minor offences. But they can do so if the crime attracts imprisonment of more than seven years, or is committed jointly with adults.
These are part of draft model rules unveiled by Union women and child development minister Maneka Gandhi on Wednesday for the juvenile justice law.
The child-friendly provisions will be part of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, which was passed by Parliament in December.
Other than crimes for which an FIR can be registered, other cases will be handled by the special juvenile police unit or the child welfare police officer who will record the offence in the general diary.
The juvenile offenders will not be put in lock-up or jail with adults. They will get medical and legal aid while guardians have to be informed promptly after a child is detained or arrested. If the child is hungry at the time of arrest and says so, he or she must be provided food without delay.
The Juvenile Justice Board and children’s court should see to it that a child offender is rehabilitated and reintegrated into society, Gandhi said.
The draft rules also say state governments are required to set up at least one “place of safety” for rehabilitation of juveniles convicted of heinous crimes. CONTINUED ON P12