The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2015 has reversed the direction of juvenile justice system from reformation to punishment for certain categories of children. While it continues to define child as a person who has not attained the age of 18 years,
it has authorized the courts to treat 16-18 years old children charged with commission of heinous offence as adults and deal with them in adult criminal court. The Department-Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Human Development Resources which examined the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill 2015 had found the Bill to be unconstitutional and unwarranted. The Bill was enacted as the Act with minor changes. This book critically examines the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2015 primarily from the perspective of child rights as recognized by the Convention on the Rights of the Child and guidelines framed under this Convention keeping in mind the historical development relating to juvenile justice system since 1850. It identifies lacunae in drafting of various provisions and suggests child friendly interpretations keeping in view the fundamental and general principles contained in the Act. These include the principles of best interest of child and presumption of innocence and absence of mala fide intention in all children below the age of eighteen years. It also points out internal contradictions within the scheme of the Act and various omissions and gaps that need to be filled for holistic implementation of the Act. All the provisions of the Act have been critically analyzed keeping in view the objectives of the Act. The Act is aimed at catering to the basic needs of children through proper care, protection, development, treatment, social integration. The adjudication under the Act must be child-friendly. The Act further requires that the processes adopted all institutions and bodies under the Act for disposal of matter should be in the best interest of children and for their rehabilitation.