Child of­fend­ers won’t be put in jail, say new rules

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Moushumi Das Gupta moushumi.gupta@hin­dus­tan­times.com

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

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