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DAMODARAM SANJIVAYYA NATIONAL LAW UNIVERSITY

SEMINAR PAPER I

ASSIGNED TOPIC: Factors influencing Youth Crime & Juvenile


Delinquency

SUBMITTED BY

AADITYA VASU

ROLL NUMBER: 2013001

SUBMITTED TO: - Dr. Vara Lakshmi

1
Acknowledgement

I am obliged and owe my sincere gratitude to my supervisor Mr. Bharat Kumar, who helped
me to fine tune this research and made this entire journey a very useful and learning process.
Without his support, constant guidance and inspiration, this study would have not been possible
and the paper, on Factors influencing Youth Crime and Juvenile Delinquency, would not
have seen the light of the day.
I am highly indebted to Dr. Vara Lakshmi for her guidance and constant supervision as well as
for providing necessary information regarding the paper & also for her support in completing
the paper.
I would like to express my gratitude towards my parents for their kind co-operation and
encouragement which help me in completion of this paper.

2
Contents

Topic Page No.

Table of Cases 5-6

Research Problems 7

Research Questions 7

Research Objective 7

Hypothesis 7

Literature Review 8-9

Research Methodology 9

Sources of Data 9

Scheme of Study 9

Significance of research 9-10

Chapter I. Introduction 10-11

1.1 Definition of Juvenile 11-12

1.2 Definition of Delinquency 12-13


1.3 Classification of Juvenile Delinquency 13-15
1.4 Theories of Delinquencies 15-24
1.5 Tendency Situation in Crime Resistance 24-25
1.6 Family and Environment variables 25-26
1.7 Statistics of juvenile delinquency 26-27
Chapter 2: Juvenile justice act and juvenile justice board 27
2.1 Observation Homes 27-28
2.2 Special Home 28
Chapter 3: Overview of the responses to serious offences by
juveniles under juvenile law in India 28-29
Chapter 4: Responses to juvenile offenders who commit serious
crime under the JJ Act and Model Rules 29-31

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Chapter 5: Gaps in law 31-34
5.1 Gaps in administration of juvenile justice, specifically
pertaining to the issue of serious offences committed by juveniles 34-35
Chapter 6: Appropriateness of Adult Time for Adult Crime 35- 37

Chapter 7: Specific Recommendations concerning Juveniles who


commit Serious Crime 37
(i) Expansion of list of orders that can be passed by JJBs 37-38
(ii) Additional specific recommendations for Juvenile Sex Offenders 38-39
(iii) Enhancing effectiveness of rehabilitation programs 39-40
(iv) Place of Safety to adhere to minimum standards to ensure it
is indeed a safe place 40-41
(v) Prevention of Recidivism 41
(vi) Establishment of Integrated Treatment Centres for juveniles in conflict
with law 41
(viii) Establishment of Special Homes 42
(ix) Education as a means to address juvenile crime 42
(x) Addressing the unique challenges of girls who commit serious crime 42
(xi) Case Conferencing 42
7.1 Specific Recommendations concerning Victims of Serious
Offences committed by Juveniles 43
7.2 General Recommendations concerning Actualization of the Statutory
Mandate 43-44
Chapter 8: Judicial Pronouncements 44-56

Conclusion 56
Bibliography 57-58

4
Table of Cases

Sanjay Suri & Anr . Vs. Delhi Administration , Delhi & Anr, 1988 Supp SCC 160;
1988 SCC (Cri) 248; AIR 1988 SC 414; 1988 CriLJ 705 (SC)

Sanat Kumar Sinha Vs. State of Bihar & Ors, 1991 (2) Crimes 241
State of Karnataka Vs. Harshad, 2005 CriLJ 2357 (Karnataka )
Ex. Gnr . Ajit Singh Vs. UOI, 2004 CriLJ 3994 (Delhi )
Rajinder Chandra vs . State of Chhatisgarh & Anr, 2002) 2 SCC 287; 2002 SCC (Cri)
333; AIR 2002 SC 748; 2002 CriLJ 1014 (SC)
Bhola Bhagat Vs. State of Bihar, (1997) 8 SCC 720; AIR 1998 SC 236
Sanjay Suri & Anr . Vs. Delhi, AIR 1988 SC 414; 1988 CriLJ 705 (SC)
Master Rajeev Shankarlal Parmar & Anr . Vs. Officer -in -Charge , Malad Police
Station & Ors, 2003 CriLJ 4522 (Bom )
Master Salim Ikramuddin Ansari & Anr . Vs. Officer -in-Charge , Borivali Police
Station , Mumbai & Ors; 2005 CriLJ 799 (Bom )
Ravinder Singh Gorkhi Vs. State of U.P., (2006) 5 SCC 584; 2006 CriLJ 2791 (SC).
Sunil Rathi Vs. State of U.P, (2006) 9 SCC 603; (2006) 3 SCC (Cri) 351
Pradeep Kumar Vs. State of U.P., 1995 Supp (4) SCC 419; 1995 SCC (Cri) 395; AIR
1994 SC 104.
Umesh Singh & Anr . Vs. State of Bihar, (2000) 6 SCC 89; 2000 SCC (Cri) 1026; AIR
2000 SC 2111;
Upendra Kumar Vs. State of Bihar, (2005) 3 SCC 592; 2005 SCC (Cri) 778
Satya Mohan Singh Vs. State of U.P., 2000 CriLJ 3167 (SC)
Sahabuddin alias Shaboo Vs. State of U.P, 2002 CriLJ 4579 (Allahabad )
Vijendra Kumar Mali , etc . Vs. State of U.P., 2003 CriLJ 4619 (Allahabad )
Abhay Kumar Singh Vs. State of Jharkhand, 2004 CriLJ 4533 (Jharkhand )
Ranjit Singh Vs. State of H.P., 2005 CriLJ 972 (H.P.)
Kalyan Chandra Sarkar Vs. Rajesh Ranjan, (2005) 2 SCC 42; 2005 SCC (Cri) 489; AIR
2005 SC 921; 2005 CriLJ 944 (S.C.)
Pratap Singh vs. State of Jharkhand & Anr, (2005) 3 SCC 551; 2005 SCC (Cri) 742;
AIR 2005 SC 2731; 2005 CriLJ 3091 (SC)
Surinder Singh Vs. State of U.P., (2003) 10 SCC 26; 2004 SCC (Cri) 717; AIR 2003
SC 3811
Om Prakash Vs. State of Uttaranchal, (2003) 1 SCC 648

5
Ram Deo Chauhan Vs. State of Assam, (2001) 5 SCC 714; AIR 2001 SC 2231
State of Haryana Vs. Balwant Singh, 1993 (1) SCC Supp 409
Raisul Vs. State of U.P., (1976) 4 SCC 301; 1976 SCC (Cri) 613; AIR 1977 SC 1822;
1977 CriLJ 1555 (SC)
Jayendra & Anr . Vs. State of U.P., (1981) 4 SCC 149; 1981 SCC (Cri) 809; AIR 1982
SC 685
Jaya Mala Vs. Home Secretary , Government of Jammu & Kashmir, (1982) 2 SCC 538;
1982 SCC (Cri) 502; AIR 1982 SC 1297; 1982 CriLJ 1777 (SC)
Bhoop Ram Vs. State of U.P., (1989) 3 SCC 1; 1989 SCC (Cri) 486; AIR 1989 SC
1329; (1989) 2 Crimes 294
Gopinath Ghosh Vs. State of West Bengal, 1984 Supp SCC 228; 1984 SCC (Cri) 478;
AIR 1984 SC 237; 1984 CriLJ 168 (SC)

6
Research Problems

In recent years, it has become very clear that juvenile delinquency is the most important aspect
of the subject matter of criminology. These years have also seen an urge for an objective
appraisal of the problem and the development of the new techniques. Delinquent behaviour has
assumed serious forms among the juveniles, which is a sign of sick society. The disorder and
destruction due to deviant behaviour, a worldwide phenomenon, is assuming alarming
proportions in social organizations and is awakening call to those who are either in its grip or
are likely to get struck. This study was aimed at understanding the causes behind juvenile
delinquency, and the measures that are being taken for the positive development of the children
in conflict with law.
Research Questions

What are the causes of delinquency.


Explore how the juvenile justice system responds to delinquency.
What are the historical, legal, social, and philosophical foundations of the juvenile
court movement.
What is the juvenile court process, from arrest to placement.
Research Objective

The objectives of the study are


To illustrate the role of individual characteristics and environmental background
variables in juvenile delinquency.
To examine the perception of fairness of justice among the juvenile delinquents.
To examine the extent to which the Juvenile Justice Programme emphasize building on
strength and Positive Youth Development.
Hypothesis

Both individual and existing environmental conditions reflecting societal changes are
responsible for committing delinquency among children.
The delinquents will demonstrate positive perceptions of the police and officials of the
observation home.
Juvenile Justice Programmes will be found to build on strength and Positive Youth
Development. There must be the provision of all facilities which helps in the positive
development of the delinquents.

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Literature Review

B. R. Sharma, in article Juvenile delinquency in India a cause for concern stated


that the term juvenile delinquency applies to violation of criminal code and certain
patterns of behavior that are not approved for children and young adolescents. It may
be grouped as individual delinquency (in which only one individual is involved and the
cause of delinquent act is traced to individual delinquent), group supported delinquency
(committed in companionship and the cause is attributed not to the personality of the
individual but to the culture of the individuals home and neighborhood), organized
delinquency and situational delinquency.
Kavita Sahmey, in article A Study on Factors Underlying Juvenile Delinquency and
Positive Youth Development Programs stated that The word juvenile has been derived
from the Latin term juvenis, which means young and etymologically, and the word
delinquency has been derived from the Latin word delinquer which means to omit. In
the year 1484, William Coxton used the word delinquent to describe a person who was
found guilty. Juvenile delinquency refers to the involvement by the teenagers in an
unlawful behavior who is usually under the age of 18 and commits an act which would
be considered as a crime.
Ms. Maharukh Adenwalla, in article Child Protection and Juvenile Justice System for
Juvenile in Conflict with Law explained A child is the part of the society in which he
lives. Due to his maturity, he is easily motivated by what he sees around him. It is his
environment and social context that provokes his actions. Juvenile Legislation attempts
to cure his illness by treating the juvenile without doing anything to treat the causes of
the illness.
Campaign for Youth Justice, The Consequences arent minor: The Impact of trying
Youth as Adults & Strategies for Reform (2007), available at
www.campaign4youthjustice.org
Howard N. Snyder & Melissa Sickmund, U.S. Dept. of Justice Juvenile Offenders and
Victims: 2006 National Report (2006).
Association for Development, Delhi: Compendium of information obtained under the
Right to Information Act, 2005 on juvenile justice system in Delhi. (Association for
Development, Delhi, 2008) (NHRC)
Nilima Mehta: Child protection and juvenile justice system for children in need of care
and protection. (Childline India Foundation, Mumbai, 2008) (NHRC)

8
Susen Methews: A report of the National Consultations on Juvenile Justice Centre for
Child and Law and its partners. (National Law School of India University, Bangalore,
1999)
National Human Rights Commission, New Delhi: Workshop on detention. (National
Human Rights Commission, New Delhi, 2008)
National Report on A world fit for children. (India, Ministry of Women and Child
Development,2007)
http://www.unicef.org/worldfitforchildren/files/India_WFFC5_Report.pdf

Research Methodology:

The research methodology is Doctrinal in nature.

Sources of Data

Secondary Source: Books, Articles, online journals, Internet sources.

Scheme of Study

The paper proceeds in four main Chapters. Chapters I through III focus on three separate
aspects of Indias juvenile justice system, examining current practices and offering practical
suggestions to bring those practices in line with the system envisioned by the JJ Act. Chapter I
addresses the Indian police, who are almost always a childs first point of contact with the
system and who, therefore, wield significant influence over a childs path through the system.
Chapter II examines the potential for a more established and fully functioning system of early
dismissal to ensure that youth do not languish within the system. Chapter III discusses the
benefits of an increased role for probation officers within the system, particularly given the
current lack of meaningful direction for that position. Finally, Chapter IV concludes with some
brief general observations.
Significance of research

This study would lead to the understanding of both the individual characteristics and the
background variables behind the delinquent behavior at present. Earlier, there was not much
impact of media such as television and internet on the young minds. The massive use of mobile
phones among youths was also a rarity. But with changing times and technological advances,
children are more prone to exposure to sensitive materials. Changing patterns of familial
relationships owing to fast and stressful lifestyle also add to the risk of delinquent behaviour.

9
This study would help in gaining insight into the problems faced by the offenders both before
and during their stay in the Observation Home. The profile and experience of children in
conflict with law through the eyes of the children are important information to be obtained
through this study. The study would also help in suggesting the measures for the improvement
of the conditions of the inmates at Observation Home to ensure safe and healthy environment
and proper rehabilitation.
Chapter I. Introduction

Children are greatest national asset and resource. Children should be allowed and provided
opportunity to grow up to become robust citizens, physically fit, mentally alert and morally
healthy, endowed with skills and activations needed by the society. Equal opportunities for
development to all children during the period of growth should be provided for reducing
inequality and ensuring social justice, which in turn would serve as an effective tool to curb
delinquency in juveniles. Children are expected to be obedient, respectful and imbibe virtues
and good quality in them. Due to various reasons children do not follow settled social and legal
dictum.1
In recent years, it has become very clear that juvenile delinquency is the most important aspect
of the subject matter of criminology. These years have also seen an urge for an objective
appraisal of the problem and the development of the new techniques. Delinquent behaviour has
assumed serious forms among the juveniles, which is a sign of sick society. The disorder and
destruction due to deviant behaviour, a worldwide phenomenon, is assuming alarming
proportions in social organizations and is awakening call to those who are either in its grip or
are likely to get struck.2
Juvenile delinquency, as a legal concept is of recent origin. Juvenile delinquency is an integral
part of criminology. The two cannot be separated since one of the reasons for crime and its
continuance into adult life is the ineffective control and treatment of juveniles. Juvenile
delinquency is a big breading centre of criminals. The word delinquency is derived from the
Latin word delinquere meaning de i.e. away and linquere i.e. to leave thus, meaning to leave
or to abandon. Originally, the word had an objective meaning as it referred to parents who
neglected and abandoned their children. In present day, it is used and applied to those children
who indulge in wrongful and harmful activities.3

1
Available at: www.childlineindia.org (last updated 10th September, 2015)
2
ibid
3
Available at: www.sodhgana.inflibnet.ac.in (last updated 10th September, 2015)

10
Juvenile can be defined as a child who has not attained a certain age at which he, like an adult
person under the law of the land, can be held liable for his criminal acts. The juvenile is a child
who is alleged to have committed /violated some law which declares the act or omission on the
part of the child as an offence. Juvenile and minor in legal terms are used in different context.
Juvenile is used when reference is made to a young criminal offenders and minor relates to
legal capacity or majority. To make the meaning more clear resort can profitably be made to
some other source. The concept of the juvenile varies from State of State for convenience.4
In U.S.A., each state has the authority to determine the age of juveniles within its jurisdiction;
different states have different age criteria with regard to juvenile. But the majority of 52 states
concur with maximum age set in the standards 1976 Under federal government, anyone who is
under 21 years of age committing delinquency can be adjudged a juvenile delinquent whereas
in some other States it is under 18 years, under 17 years and under 10 years also.
In India, until passing of Children Act, 1960 there was no uniformity regarding age limitation
of juvenile delinquent. Bombay Children Act 1948 defined Child to mean a boy who has not
attained the age of sixteen years or girl who has not attained the age of eighteen years. The U.P.
Children Act defined Child as a person under the age of sixteen years. The East Punjab Act,
Andhra Pradesh (Telangara Area) Children Act also prescribed the sixteen years age limit but
included the children who are in certified schools, though they have attained the age of 16
years.5
Under A.P. Children Act 1920 child means a person under 14 years and when used to
reference to sent to certified school applies to that child during while period of detention
notwithstanding that the child attains the age of fourteen before expiration of that period. The
Saurashtra & West Bengal defines a child a person who has not attained the age of eighteen
years. Haryana Children Act has also maintained this difference in defining child as a boy who
has not attained the age of sixteen years and a girl who has not attained age of eighteen years.6
Juvenile Justice Act, 1986 defined a juvenile or child to be a person who in case of a boy has
not completed age of 16 years and in case of a girl 18 years of age. The JJA Act, 1986 was
repealed by 2000 Act and the distinction with regard to age between male and female juveniles
has been done away with by the Government of India in performance of its obligation to the
international obligations. Now age of juvenile in conflict with law for male and female has
been fixed at 18 years. A juvenile in conflict with law under the JJ (C & P) Act, 2000 is a

4
Supra Note 1
5
Available at: www.jjb.bih.nic.in (last updated 12th September, 2015)
6
ibid

11
juvenile who is alleged to have committed an offence and has not completed 18 years of age
as on the date of commission of such offence.7

1.1 Definition of Juvenile


Juvenile is a child who unlike an adult person, having not attained prescribed age, cannot be
held liable for his criminal act. The age criteria for being a juvenile vary from country to
country, state to state. In ancient India, a parent was supposed not to punish a child who is
under five years of age for any offence. As per the law then prevailing a children of such tender
age should be nursed and educated with love and affection only. After the age of five,
punishment may be given in some suitable form such as physical chastisement or rebuke by
the parents, towards the later half of the childhood, punishment should be gradually withdrawn
and replaced by advice. From the age of sixteen upwards sons and daughters should be treated
as friends by the parents. Some Smritis, like the Brahd-Yama and the Sankha say that a boy
over five and less than eleven, if guilty of some Patakas such as drinking Sura, has not to
undergo penance personally but his brother, father or other relations or friends have to undergo
for him and that if a child is less than five, then whatever the act may be, it is not deemed to
be a crime nor a sin and the child is consequently not liable to any punishment or prayaschita.8
The Roman Laws stated that a child under seven years was incapable of crime. Boys from
seven to fourteen and girls from seven to twelve (pre-puberty age) were considered partially
responsible and the punishment left to the discretion of the Praetor. The Germanic Laws, in
medieval Europe, were much severer, and under them even children less than seven years of
age were sometimes considered capable of criminal intent.9
In the United States age of juvenile ranges from 16 to 21 but 18 is the most common. In
England, a child below 10 cannot be committed of any criminal offence because of an
irrefutable presumption of innocence and absence of mens rea. Between the age of 10 and 14
they are in a twilight zone in which they are morally responsible not as a class but as
individuals, when they know their act to be wrong. In France and Poland, the age limit is 13.
In Australia, Germany, Norway and Czechoslovakia it is 14 and in Denmark and Sweden it is
15.10
In India, under section 82 of the Indian Penal Code, nothing is an offence which is done by a
child under seven years of age and under section 83 nothing is an offence which is done by a

7
Available at: https://www.nls.ac.in/ccl/justicetochildren/intl (last updated 12th September, 2015)
8
ibid
9
ibid
10
Supra Note 3

12
child above seven years of age and under twelve, who has not attained sufficient maturity of
understanding to judge the nature and consequence of his conduct on that occasion. Maturity
of understanding is to be presumed between the ages of seven and twelve unless the contrary
be proved.11
Section 27 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, provides that any offence, other than one
punishable with death or imprisonment for life, committed by any person who at the date when
he appears or is brought before the court is under the age of sixteen years may be tried by the
court of Chief Judicial Magistrate or any Court specially empowered under the Children Act,
1960 or any other law for the time being in force providing for the treatment, training and
rehabilitation of youthful offenders, The Reformatory Schools Act defined a youthful offender
as any male child who is below 15 years.12
The majority of the Children Acts passed in the various States fixed the upper age limits of
protection at sixteen years. The more recent Acts of West Bengal and Saurashtra have raised
this age limit to 18 years. The Central Children Act, 1960 retained the age of sixteen in case of
boys but has extended it to eighteen for girls. The higher age limit in case of girls was
considered to be essential in view of the social setting of our country where girls need
protection for a longer period. The Probation of Offenders Act, 1958, imposes a restriction on
the imprisonment of a person below 21 years. Thus, ordinarily a boy or a girl below 21 is not
to be imprisoned. Juvenile Justice Act, 1986 treated a boy under16 years of age to be a juvenile.
But in case of a girl this age limit was 18 years. JJ (C & P) Act, 2000 however, provided a
uniform age of 18 years for boys and girls.13

1.2 Definition of Delinquency


Delinquency is an act or conduct of a juvenile which is socially undesirable. Juvenile
delinquency generally means the failure of children to meet certain obligations expected of
them by the society. Juvenile delinquency is expression of an unsatisfied urge in the juvenile
delinquent. Whether a particular act or conduct of the child would be deviant or not will depend
on various factors and vary in different States, Cities and also time to time. The juvenile
delinquent has even been defined as a child trying to act like a grown up. A particular act of
the child may be viewed as ordinary childish prank but in another particular context it may
cause concern and anxiety. The distinction between a delinquent and normal child, at times is

11
Supra Note 3
12
Supra Note 3
13
Supra Note 3

13
very blurred and deciding point between a playful act and the juvenile delinquency is his
relation to concerned person. In fact there is a haze of vagueness and confusion surrounding
the definition of juvenile delinquency and there is no single definition that may be acceptable
to all. The first legislation on juvenile delinquency, passed by the State of Illinois in l899
specifies many exact kinds of delinquency in addition to the offences covered by the criminal
laws. The juvenile delinquency is expression of unsatisfied desires and urges. For a delinquent,
his deviant act is a normal response to his inner desire. Like a non delinquent a delinquent is
also conditioned by various attending and prevailing circumstances around him. A juvenile
delinquent is a person who has been so adjudicated by a judicial court though he may be no
different from other children who are not delinquent. Delinquency is an act, conduct or
interaction which is socially undesirable.14
The causes of juvenile delinquency are varied. The concept of delinquency also varies with the
point of view of the people who feel challenged by it.15

The issue was discussed during the Second United Nations Congress on the prevention of
Crime and the Treatment of Offenders in August 1960, in London. It recommended:
The Congress considered that the scope of the problem of juvenile delinquency should not
be unnecessarily inflated. Without attempting to formulate a standard definition of what should
he considered to be juvenile delinquency in each country, it recommends (a) that the meaning
of the term juvenile delinquency should he restricted as far as possible to violations of the
criminal law, and (b) that even for protection, specific offences which would penalise small
irregularities or maladjusted behaviour of minors but for which adults would not be prosecuted,
should not be created.16
The Indian position is in consonance with the recommendations made by the U.N. Congress.
The Children Act, 1960 defines a delinquent child as a child who has been found to have
committed an offence. A child under the Act means a boy under 16 years and a girl less than
18 years of age. Separate provisions however, exist for the care and protection of the neglected
and uncontrollable children too who if not treated and cared for in time may well be inducted
into delinquency. These children are dealt with by the Child Welfare Boards. In fulfilment of
its commitment to the United Nations declarations and rules the Government of India has

14
Available at : www.jiacam.org/0103/Jiacam (last updated 15th September, 2015)
15
ibid
16
ibid

14
enhanced the age of a juvenile to 18 years for boy and the girl as well in Juvenile Justice (Care
and Protection) Act, 2000.17

1.3 Classification of Juvenile Delinquency


It is extremely difficult to assess precisely the extent of the problem in any part of the country
since accurate statistics are not available and are not indicator of the true extent. This is because
of the fact that a large number of such acts remain undetected or unreported. Nevertheless, it
has been observed that delinquency rates are highest in all developed countries. It is in countries
with the highest levels of technical and economic advancement that social change occurs most
rapidly, and traditional social roles and institutional controls over child conduct tend to
breakdown.18
Different classifications of the juvenile delinquency and delinquents have been given by
various authors. A few important classifications are noted below.
Hirsh19 delineated the following kinds of juvenile offences:
(1) Incorrigibility, which includes keeping late hours, disobedience, and so on.
(2) Truancy, which can be from home or school.
(3) Destruction of property, which includes both public and private property.
(4) Violence which is perpetrated against the community by using such means as knives and
guns.
(5) Sex offenses which can range from homosexual activity to criminal assault and rape.

Eaton and Polk20 classified the delinquents by the following types of offences they have been
involved in:
(1) Minor violations which include disorderly conduct and minor traffic violations.
(2) Property violations which include all property thefts except automobiles.
(3) Major traffic violations which include automobile theft and drunk driving and any other
offence that would involve an automobile.
(4) Human addiction which includes sex offenses as well as alcohol and drug addiction.
(5) Bodily harm which includes homicide offenses that involve sexual deviation,; such as rape,
and generally, all other acts of violence against a person.

17
Available at : www.medind.nic.in (last updated 15th September, 2015)
18
ibid
19
Hirsh, N., Dynamic Causes of Juvenile Crime. Cambridge; Mass, Sci-Art Publisher, 1937
20
Eaton, J. W. and Polk, K., Measuring Delinquency. Pittsburg; university Pittsberg Press,1961

15
Kvaraceus21 classifies youngsters who become delinquent in relation to three major variables:
(1) The extent to which the individual engages in delinquent behaviour.
(2) The degree of demonstrable emotional pathology.
(3) The individuals social class.
Sellin and Wolfgang22 also used the type of offence for classifying the delinquent behaviour
into two classes. Under class I they list:
(1) bodily or physical injury;
(2) property theft; and
(3) property damage.
Under class II, they include the following:
(1) Intimidation.
(2) Property loss and property loss threatened.

(3) Primary victimization which is committed against a person.


(4) Secondary victimization which is committed against a commercial establishment.
(5) Tertiary victimization which includes offenses against the public order and regulatory
offences such as violation of city ordinance.
(6) Mutual victimization which includes offenses that involve two individuals such as rape.
(7) No victimization which includes truancy.
Ferdinand23 presented two categories of juvenile offenders as under:
(1) Neurotic Offenders
They are the offenders whose delinquency is the result of powerful unconscious impulses
which often produces guilt which in turn, motivates them to act out their delinquency in their
community so that they will be caught and punished. The delinquent act is sometimes
considered symbolic. For example, if they steal, it is done for love and not for a material gain.
To such delinquents, delinquency is a way of handling their internal problems by externalizing
the problem within the environment.
(2) Character Disorder Offenders
This type of offenders feel very little guilty when they commit the acts of delinquency. Because
of a lack of positive identification models in their environment, they have failed to develop

21
Kvaraceus, W. C. and Miller, W.B. Delinquent Behaviour; Cultuer and The Individual. Washingoton; National
Education Association,1959
22
Sellin, T. and Wolfgang, M., The Measurement of Delinquency. New York; John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 1964
23
Ferdinand, T.N., The Offence Pettrans and Family Structure of Urban, Village, and Rural Delinquents. Journal
of criminal Law ,Criminology and PoliceScience,55,1964,86-93

16
self-control and do what they want to do when they feel like doing it. They are unable to
sublimate their impulses in a socially acceptable manner. They have not developed an adequate
conscience structure or superego. They come from disorganized families and have had a barren
environment in their childhood. They are self-centered and feel to be aloof and have difficulty
in forming meaningful relationships.
Trojanovicz24 classified juvenile offenders in the following five categories:
(1) Gang Organized and Collective Delinquency

Youngsters classified in this category would be those who perpetrate their illegal activities
within a group. These children usually come from economically and socially deprived areas of
the city and often seek excitement and express themselves through the gang. Much of their
delinquent motivation and activity is a result of the strain produced by the crowded conditions
of their environment in large inner cities where economic opportunities are lacking and where
upward mobility is difficult.
(2) Unsocialized-Aggressive Boys
Boys classified in this category would have long police records and would probably come from
the homes where they were rejected and where there was an early identification with a criminal
parent or an anti-social type of parent. Families of such type of children are prone to physical
violence. There is much hatred and aggression within the homes and this hatred is often
transmitted to the children. Their frustration and hatred is then vested on the community where
they become very aggressive. These youngsters, obviously, do not learn how to sublimate their
impulses in a socially acceptable manner.25
(3) Accidental Offender
A youngster classified in this category would be one who is law-abiding most of the time but
who has a lapse of judgment. He involves himself in a delinquent activity. This type of
youngster is not a problem and his delinquent behaviour comes to an end when he realizes what
he has done or when he has been caught in the delinquent activity.26
(4) Occasional Delinquency
In general, the occasional delinquent is similar to the accidental offender in that he also
becomes involved in minor offenses but not on a chronic or regular basis. There is no real
pattern to his delinquency.27

24
Trojannovicz, R.C. Juvenile Delinquency; Concept and Control. New Jersey; Prentice Hall Inc.1973, 57-60
25
Available at: www.prsindia.org (last updated 20th September, 2015)
26
Ibid
27
Supra Note 24

17
(5) Professional Delinquency
A youngster classified in this category usually steals for profit. Stealing is for economic gain
to satisfy some desire.

Schafer28 emphasized on psychological typologies and psychological dynamics of personality


as the basis of classification of juvenile delinquents. The following types have been envisaged
by him.
(1) Mentally Defective
This is an individual who has an organic problem and who has difficulty in controlling himself
because of it. For example, offenders who are mentally defective are involved in petty crimes.
This category also includes mentally retarded youngsters.
(2) Situational Offenders
They are similar to the accidental offenders but, in these cases, there are more contributing
factors. Their delinquency is precipitated by a crisis or by some external event which they are
unable to handle. In other words, they do not necessarily go out looking for trouble but because
of tempering circumstances, they do not use good judgment.
(3) Psychotic Offenders
A small number of youngsters do not have contact with reality. They may be classified as
schizophrenic or may be given some other psychiatric label. As a result of dysfunctional
thought patterns, they may hallucinate, have delusions or "hear voices" that command them to
become involved in certain types of delinquent behaviour. The incidence of psychotic oriented
delinquency is minimal in relation to the other forms.
(4) Cultural Offenders
Youngsters in this category have either emulated a faculty identification model or they live in
an economically and socially deprived environment. Cultural offenders are considered normal
members of a deviant sub-culture and their patterns of behaviour are often accepted and called
normative in their own environment.
Khan, Khan and Hussain29 have classified the juvenile delinquents (according to their scale)
on the basis of the extent of their delinquent behaviour:
(a) The below average are not considered as delinquents.
(b) The average ones are considered to be mild in delinquent behaviour.

28
Schafer,S, Introduction To Criminology. Boston; Publishing,1976
29
Khan, I.A.,A.A. and Hussain, M. M., An Inventory for Juvenile Delinquency. Indian Journal of
Criminology,10(1),1982,47-51

18
(c) The above average is considered to be intense in delinquent behaviour.
In conformity with the modern trend of measurement of an attribute, psychological scaling
method is being adopted.
Females are perceived as less deviant than boys because of many reasons such as deep rooted
religious outlook, fear of social disapproval, their ability to suffer in silence etc. According to
Hurwitz there are two schools of thought on the causes of the lower crime rate amongst females,
viz. biological and sociological. The very fact that girls are physically weaker does influence
their delinquency in various ways. Besides, the special biological functions such as pregnancy
and motherhood etc. also play an important role.30
Delinquent girls more often than boys have other forms of impaired physical health; they are
noticed to be oversized, lumpish, uncouth and graceless, with a raised incidence of minor
physical defects. Yet with all this greater amount of abnormality, the peak age of delinquency
comes about one year later in adolescent girls than in boys, and the ultimate outlook for social
adjustment is better for girls than boys.31
The problem of child (juvenile) delinquency like many other social evils is linked up with the
imperfections and maladjustment of our society and is also connected with the present day
system of education to some extent. This system aims more at the training of the intellect than
the education of the emotions which play such a vital part in the formation of the pattern of the
childs behaviour and personality. But the idea is gradually gaining wider acceptance that the
juvenile delinquent needs the sympathy and understanding of the society and social agencies
and not the heavy hand of the law. It has taken an unimaginative and insensitive society many
dark centuries to achieve this degree of understanding.
Earlier in days of yore anti-social children were put to gruesome death in a vain attempt to
eliminate such undesirable elements from society and to deter the respective ones.32

1.4 Theories of Delinquencies


All seriously concerned including the Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Lawyers, Philosophers and
Sociologists to understand criminal behaviour, have propounded many theories. Each theorist
attempted first to explain crime and letter delinquency from prospective of his discipline, often
based on an incomplete analysis of problem. The theorists increasing focused upon juvenile
conduct and Juvenile Laws. Because they believed that delinquency and crime are inter related

30
Supra Note 13
31
Supra Note 13
32
Supra Note 13

19
to each other and could not be comprehended without understanding of other. The others
thinkers regarded the strict relationship between delinquency and crime but today the
relationship between them has not been dearly established. Many Views opinions, criticisms,
proposals and suggestions about the causes of delinquency and crime have been published in
diverse sources, but they have seldom been integrated. Most explanations however, imply
recognition that delinquency and crime cannot be explained in terms of one single casual factor.
33

Generally, three major approaches are Biogenic Theory, Psychogenic and Sociogenic.
Biogenic views stress faulty Biology for Juvenile misconduct. Psychogenic approaches are
varied in character, but in general stress the psychological pathology of the delinquency. The
Sociogenic theory explains delinquency in terms and conditions of social structure. Likewise,
Sociological explanation deals with Sociogenic theory. Some of the theories are briefly
discussed below.
(A) Biogenic Theory
This theory is based on the supposition that the criminal is radically different from normal
human beings in organic structure, which largely determines their criminal action. The criminal
is therefore a biological phenomenon, a degenerate member of the human species, whose
criminal behaviour originates in his psychotic deficiency. Ceases Lambroso is regarded as the
profounder of this theory. He declared a criminal to be an atavistic phenomenon, a biological
throwback since the somatological characteristics of criminals resemble those of primitive
men.34
Biological theories are concerned with attributing crime to the biological or physiological
reasons. Biological determinists maintain that the physical qualities which people inherit or
develop may cause them to violate the law.35

Physical make-up separates the deviant from the non-deviant. Amongst the physical theories
of delinquency causation, the most interesting was phrenology i.e. the study of the
conformation of the skull as indicative of mental faculties and traits of character, especially
according to the hypothesis of F.J. Gall (1758-1828). Gall was a Viennese physician who as a
young medical student, "noticed that some of his fellows with pronounced characteristics had
certain head configurations. He asked himself why people had such different faces and such

33
Supra Note 25
34
Lomboroso Cesare (1911) L. Uomo Delinquency. 1876, Translated with modification of Horbton, H.P. (1911)
as crime, its causes and remedies Modern Criminal Science Series No. 3 Boston, Little Brown
35
Supra Note 21

20
different natures; why one was deceitful, another frank, a third virtuous". In attempting to
answer these questions he made it a point of his life to examine every head he could find. He
haunted medical laboratories, he visited prisons and lunatic asylums, his fingers fairly "itched"
to measure the bumps and inequalities of the skulls he found. He thought he discerned a
relationship between head "Knobs" and certain propensities and character traits, to which he
gave fancy names. In this manner phrenology launched itself upon a world eagerly waiting to
receive it.36
According to Cessare Lombroso, a biologist with an outstanding contribution to the science of
criminology, there exists a group of criminals born for evil, against whom all social cures
break as against a rock. Criminality according to him is in-born. A typical criminal, says
Lombroso, has certain physical characteristics as low forehead, hairy body, red eyes, ear
deformation, receding chin, big and protruding jaws, and an extreme sensitivity or non-
sensitivity to pain. While serving in the army as a physician he observed that troublesome
soldiers had certain physical characteristics which were missing in the others.37
(B) Psychogenic Theory
In general, this theory stresses the psychological pathology of the delinquent. Hirschi stated
that all theories are based on three fundamental perspectives.
Motivational theory, which emphasize that legitimate desires that conformity, cannot
satisfy force a person into deviance.
Control perspectives - a person is free to commit delinquency acts because his ties to
the conventional is based on the cultural deviance which says that deviant conforms to
set of standards not accepted by a larger or more powerful society.38
There are also many researchers who have stressed the Psychological and Psychiatric variables
to be highly related to delinquency Glueek and Glueek39 have held that physically a delinquent
is mesomorph in constitution. In attitude he is Hostile, defiant, resentful, suspicious, Stubborn
adventurous, unconventional and non submissive to the authority.40
The criminal is a product of society. The impact of sociological factors is so great on
individuals that they either shun criminality or embrace it, depending upon their environment

36
K. Kusum, Juvenile Delinquency- A Socio-legal Study (1979) Published by KLM Book House, New Delhi, p.13
37
Available at: www.childlabour.nic.in (last updated 25th September, 2015)
38
ibid
39
Gluck, Sheldon and Gluck, Eleanor (1950). Unraveling Juvenile delinquency, Cambridge; Harvard University
Press
40
Supra Note 37

21
and immediate social conditions. Professor Sutherland made an intensive study of criminals
and offered two explanations for criminal behaviour namely:
Processes operating at the time of occurrence of crime which be called the dynamic
explanation of crime, and

The processes operating in the earlier life history of criminal which he termed as
Historical or generic explanation of crime.

Sutherland and Cressey41 hypothesized that the criminal behaviour is learned in the pattern of
communications as person acquired patterns of lawful behaviour. The sociologists also speak
of delinquency product of learning hand acculturation. This theory was called the theory of
differential association. Sutherland felt that criminal behaviour is not inherited and one who
is not already trained in crime does not indulge in criminal behaviour. Rather, criminal
behaviour is learned in interaction with other person especially within intimate personal groups.
This, according to Sutherland, would mean that impersonal agencies such as movies and News
papers play a relatively important part in the genesis of criminal behaviour. Sutherland further
says that a person becomes delinquent because of access of definition of violation of law over
unfavourable definitions to violation of law. Differential association varies in frequency,
duration, priority and intensity. This means that association with criminal behaviour and also
association with anti criminal behaviour vary in those respect frequency and duration are
modalities of association and priority is assumed to be important in the sense that lawful
behaviour develop in earlier childhood may persist throughout life.42
Merton43 stressed the importance of anomic according to him, deviant behaviour involves
selective adherence to accepted. Social norms and occurs in areas of specific structural restrains
in social system he suggest that anomic develops because of break down in the relationship
between goals that place great stress on success and to which all groups in our society are in
doctrine without equivalent emphasis on institutional or legislative channels of access to these
goals.44
According to Sykes & Matza45 delinquent behaviour like most social behaviour, is learned in
the process of social interaction. Both feel that the family of the delinquent will agree with
respectable society that delinquency is wrong even though the family may be engaged in a

41
Sutherland E.H and Cressey D.R., Juvenile Delinquency. New York: Mcgrawhill Book Co., 1949
42
Available at: www.legalservicesindia.com (last updated 26th September, 2015)
43
Merton, R., Social Theory and Social Structure. Gelencoe III: Free Press 1957
44
Supra Note 42
45
Matza, D., Becoming Deviant. N.J. Englewood Cliffs; Prentice Hall Inc.1969

22
variety of illegal activities. They say that a delinquent is partly committed to the dominant.
Social order in the he frequently exhibits, quilts or shame when he violates its prescriptions,
accords approval to certain conferring figures and distinguishes between appropriates and
inappropriate targets for his deviance.
They say that there are five important techniques, which are as under:-
The denial of injury.

The denial of responsibility.

The denial of victim.

The condemnation of the crime.

The appeal of higher loyalties.

The authors feel that these techniques lesson the effectiveness of delinquent behaviour.
(C) Psychoanalytical and Psychiatric Theory
Airchorn46 asserted that there must be something in child himself which environment brings
out in the form of delinquency. Delinquents behave as they do because they are in some way
Maladjusted persons. Airchrons statement indicates further that the environment may
function as a precipitating force, but never as primary force in causation.47
(D) Medico-Biological Theory
This theory has been advanced at many times and in many ways and often in combination as
Medico biological thesis of causation. Here this theory would include the hereditary factors,
chemical balances within the physical organism, and certainly the influence of physical illness
on behaviour. The biological explanation, concerned primarily with inherited characteristics,
have a famous historical example in the concern of Lamboreso48 with measurable physiological
characteristics such theories remains popular today in such instances as the recent studies
concerning Y chromosome.49
(E) The classical Theory
The classical theory of free will advocated that man is a free moral agent who chooses to do
wrong. On the assumption of free will, the Classical theorists maintained that the criminal is
morally guilty and responsible, he should; therefore, receive a punishment proportionate to that

46
A. Airchon Wayword Youth (1955) Meridian Books, New York pp. 45-55
47
Available at: www.jjlp.law.ucdavis.edu (last updated 1st October, 2015)
48
Lombroso,c., Poineers in Criminology; Crssare Lombroso (1835-1909),M.E. Wolfgang. Journal of Criminal Law,
Criminology and Police Science,52,1961.
49
Supra Note 47

23
moral guilt. Thus, there were set penalties according to the moral turpitude involved in the
offence. Many eager researchers in different spheres, particularly medicine, psychology,
psychiatry, and sociology applied themselves to this challenging problem towards the end of
the nineteenth century. Some have looked for explanations in physical and mental health, others
in emotional attitudes and still others in general social environment. The Classical theory was
attacked since it treated all men as mere digits ignoring their individual natures or the
circumstances under which they committed the crime. It subjected to the same punishment the
hardened criminal, the accidental and the habitual. As Liszt has remarked, it was the Magna
Carta of the professional criminal because he knew exactly what risks he had to run and could
determine with cool calculation beforehand whether the risk was worthwhile. The theory, in
Saleilles words, is noticeably false, inhuman and supremely unjust but obviously simple and
easy to apply. It has been popular to attribute deviant behaviour to a single cause or factor,
such as physical, psychological, environmental, Social etc.50
(E) Multi-causal Theory
According to Abrahamsen,51 a criminal act is the sum of a persons criminalistic tendencies
plus his total situation divided by the amount of his resistance. He rendered the multiplicity
of causal factors into a mathematical formula:
1.5 Tendency Situation in Crime Resistance
This shows that the root of the delinquency lies in both in nature and nurture. Lure of a
chocolate may lead one child to pick a pocket whereas a spirit of adventure might lead another
to run away with somebodys car. The conduct of some children may be explained by a single
precipitating and preponderant factor but nevertheless, there are many other factors which
contribute towards precipitating the one factor. When a straw breaks a camel back, there are
other preceding weights and strains to be considered. Recent sociologists, psychiatrists and
criminologists agree that delinquency is a result of a number of factors. No one factor is the
sole cause of delinquency. It is a result of the interaction between the individual and his
immediate and economic factors like poverty, slums etc. The natural factors are biological,
mental and emotional. Geography and climatic conditions are indirect contributors to
delinquency, According to B.K. Bhattacharya, there is much to do to remove abject poverty,
to mend broken and disorganized homes, to abolish slums, with their carcinogenic situation
and to alleviate miseries of the millions of refugees. At the other end, paradoxically, there is

50
Supra Note 10
51
K. Kusum, 'Juvenile Delinquency- A Socio-legal Study'(1979) Published by KLM Book House, New Delhi

24
seen better clothes, and food, better entertainment facilities, earlier physical and sexual
maturity and economic independence for some favoured few. The young people do not get
adequate guidance or good example from the grownups. In an atomic age, an age of violence,
when robber nations care little for humanity, with ethics shattered and ideals fallen, immediate
gratification is sought, leaving tomorrow to take care of itself. One must not however, cease to
hope and do ones best.52
At a seminar held in the U.N. Regional Institute for Asia and the Far East, at Tokyo, the increase
in juvenile delinquency was attributed to increase of leisure time, breakdown of family system,
weakening human relations, rising standards of living and aspirations for the same, impact of
war, influence of mass communication, social change etc. Going through the records and
history of children committed to institutional care, one finds that in most of the cases there are
at least four or five factors that have turned these children astray the most potent being poor
economic conditions coupled with unwholesome family atmosphere.53

1.6 Family and Environment variables


The anti-social behavior may be a part of growing up or the beginning up of a long-term pattern
of the criminal activity. The peer groups play an important in the construction of delinquent
behavior. A child is a part of society in which he lives and due to his immaturity, he is easily
motivated by what he sees around him. It is his environment and social context that provokes
his actions. It is also seen that children in urban and semi-urban areas who belong to middle
class families are found more prone to crimes such as theft, rape, and murder and this happens
because there absence of proper environment both within a family as well as in a community
level. In such situation parents fail to give a proper guidance. Due to the lack of moral education
at the family level and as well as life skill education, high dropout rate in poor and tribal
families have contributed to the increase in the number of delinquency among children. There
are three different levels by which a better understanding about a juvenile delinquency can be
made such as individual level, micro social level, and macro social level. At the individual
level it focuses on the personality traits, intelligence, routine activities of adolescents, and
characteristics of individual either innate or learned. At micro social level, delinquency is a
micro aspect and criminologists stressed on the relationship ties, associations with the
delinquent friends and the social process by which an individual becomes the kind of people

52
Supra Note 19
53
K. Kusum, 'Juvenile Delinquency- A Socio-legal Study'(1979) Published by KLM Book House, New Delhi, p.28-
29ibid

25
who commit delinquent acts, especially the delinquent peer group influence at this level. In the
macro social level, the societal characteristics such as social class, social cohesiveness and
social disorganization of neighbourhood is used to explain delinquency.
Due to the immaturity of the child, he/she easily gets motivated by what he/she sees around
him/her. It is the environment and social context that provokes his actions. In a developing
country like India, juvenile crimes are steadily rising due to the persistent poverty,
unemployment, inequalities and changing values, etc. Inspite of these factors there are some
more factors such as crimes shows that are shown on the television, media, increasing
population, adverse effects of peer pressure, lavish lifestyle, too much freedom from the
parents, social maladjustment, and family disintegration. Juvenile delinquency is a problem
which despite of different and varied cultural backgrounds is found with common
characteristics universally. Under the Indian law, children between 7-12 years of age having
sufficient maturity and between 12-18 years who have committed an offence are responsible
for their criminal list. But such children are not to be dealt in the same manner as the adults,
they are not to be punished but on rehabilitating and reforming them for which it is necessary
to know the positive youth development.54
It is seen that the children who are abandoned by their families and who belong to a family in
which their father is habituated to alcohol, and have a delinquency record in the family, these
children from the different peer families and also form gangs with the other children which
thus make them sustain by using drugs, by doing sex, and theft and other petty crimes.55
1.7 Statistics of juvenile delinquency
According to the latest National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) report 2012, crimes involving
children have increased from 0.8 % (2001) to 11.8 % (2011). This report also shows the data
on juvenile delinquency that children apprehended under both Indian Penal Code (IPC) and
Special and Local Law (SLL) has increased from 30,303 (2010) to 33,887 (2011). In addition
to other crime heads, kidnapping and abduction committed by juveniles have also registered a
noticeable increase from 2008 to 2011. While kidnapping and abduction committed by a
juvenile was recorded at 354 in 2008 and it inflated to 823 during 2011. NCRB data also shows
that there are a growing number of girl children in criminal activities and it estimated that from
5.1 % (2010) which increased to 5.8 % (2011). NCRB data points out that a majority of
juveniles are mostly involved in the crimes such as theft, hurting, burglary, and riots. As a child

54
Available at www.nhrc.nic.in (last updated 5th October, 2015)
55
ibid

26
rights worker Nicole Manezes pointed out that only 1.1 % of all I.P.C crimes were committed
by the juveniles in the year 2011. It has been claimed by the news channels that children who
are under 18 years of age are committing heinous crimes and day by day it is rising. According
to the NCRB (2011), only 1.1 % of all I.P.C were committed by the juveniles, and 4.5 % of all
crimes committed by the juveniles were rape and only 3.5 % of all rapes were committed by
the juveniles. In a National Study on child abuse (2007), the Ministry of Women and Child
Development found that two out of every three children had been physically abused, and 53.22
% of children reported that they faced sexual abuse.56
Chapter 2: Juvenile justice act and juvenile justice board
The juvenile justice in India was originated in 1850 for those who were convicted in the court
and was thus essential for the children between the ages of 10-18 to provided vocational
training as a part of their rehabilitation process. The Juvenile Justice Act (2000), was put into
action on 1st April, 2001, which aimed at providing care and justice for the juveniles who are
in conflict with law and children in need of care and protection by implementing a child friendly
approach in the best interest of children and also for their rehabilitation by keeping in view the
developmental need of the children which means it will provide a protective cover to the
children who are at risk. The term juvenile was no more used because it was considered as
an offender; rather this term was mentioned as a child in need of care and protection. The
Supreme Court of India has ruled that when the enactment is silent on certain points then one
is to refer to the preamble of the act. The preamble of the JJ act speaks about providing for
proper care, protection, and treatment by catering to their developmental needs, and by
adopting a child friendly approach in the adjudication and disposition of matters in the best
interest of children and for their ultimate rehabilitation.57
Juvenile Justice Board demeanours the inquiry against juvenile who is alleged to have acted in
conflict with law. The practice for dealing with juvenile is required to be child friendly and
rehabilitation preoccupied with and not adversarial. The Board encompasses of a judicial
magistrate and two social workers, whose powers are co-extensive with the magistrate. The
sittings of a board are held within the premises of the Observation Home which does not looks
like a court room rather it is made more child-friendly room.58
2.1 Observation Homes

56
Available at: www.unicef.org (last updated 10th October, 2015)
57
ibid
58
ibid

27
Observation Home is intended for the temporary reception of any juvenile in conflict with law
during the pendency of any inquiry against him / her. The children who are under the age of 18
years are admitted in this home by the police. The state government provides various types of
services in the Observation Home for the rehabilitation and social integration of these juveniles.
A child who has committed a crime or an offence and is not placed under the charge of guardian
or a parent then he/she is initially sent to an Observation Home where they are kept and are
provided with proper mental and physical care according to their different age groups. The
main aim of the Observation Home is to bring the best interest of the child i.e. right to
education, right to protection, right to survival, and right to participation.59
2.2 Special Home
There is another institution which is called as a Special Home which is established under an
agreement with the voluntary organization. When a child is found guilty and is declared
convicted then he/she is given a three years of conviction and thus is sent to the Special Home.
For the re-socialization of a juvenile various types of services are provided by the state
government.60
With rising statistics of rates of juvenile crimes and changing social dynamics, it is essential to
probe deeply into the underlying causes of juvenile delinquency in the present times and find
out the ways and means to reduce its occurrences through appropriate steps.61

Chapter 3: Overview of the responses to serious offences by juveniles under juvenile law
in India
The JJ Act provides a number of entitlements to juveniles, including those who are alleged to
or found to have committed serious crime. The stated objects of the Act are to provide for the
proper care, protection and treatment by catering to their development needs, and by adopting
a child-friendly approach in the adjudication and disposition of matters in the best interest of
children and for their ultimate rehabilitation and re-socialization. The Act enables a multi-
disciplinary inquiry by a Juvenile Justice Board (JJB), consisting of a Principal Magistrate and
two Social Workers as members sitting as a bench, to conduct inquiries into juvenile crime in
a child-friendly manner in order to pursue the ends of justice. The JJB therefore has to also
take into consideration the concerns of the victims if any, and public interest. These inquiries
are to focus not only on establishing guilt but on understanding the juvenile and his/her

59
Available at: www.isca.in (last updated 15th October, 2015)
60
ibid
61
ibid

28
circumstances, as well as the motives and root causes that may have played a role in the
commission of the crime. In cases where a juvenile is allegedly co-accused with an adult/s, the
law forbids joint trials. In a conscious departure from the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr.
P.C.), the JJ Act and Rules restrict apprehension of juveniles, stipulate bail as a right (under
certain conditions) irrespective of whether the offence is bailable or non-bailable, and prescribe
inquiries to be conducted as per the procedure meant for trial in summons cases.62
These child-friendly measures are indicative of the Legislatures intention that the benefits of
these provisions be available to all juveniles irrespective of the nature of the offence allegedly
committed by them. The law is based on the idea that all juveniles can and should be reformed
through this child rights and child friendly approach. In all these aspects, it is a unique
legislation and very much in line with juvenile jurisprudence, child and adolescent psychology
and therapeutic jurisprudence. It may seem difficult to believe, that even juveniles who have
allegedly committed heinous crimes should be treated in this way, but a deeper reflection and
research on effective measures to ensure that such juveniles are genuinely reformed and
prevented from re-entering the system reveals that an appropriate response should not only
focus on reformation and accountability, but also the care, protection, treatment and over-all
wellbeing of the child/adolescent in order to enable him/her to re-integrate into the community
with dignity and move away from a life of crime.63
Chapter 4: Responses to juvenile offenders who commit serious crime under the JJ Act
and Model Rules
The seriousness of offences committed by juveniles is taken into consideration under the JJ
Act and Rules in the following ways:
Juveniles who are not released on bail, are required to be first placed in the reception
unit of an institution called the Observation Home (OH), pending inquiry, Here along
with age, physical and mental status, the degree of offence allegedly committed is also
considered in order to classify and segregate the juveniles so that all children residing
there get the requisite care and protection while in the Home. Juveniles who are alleged
to have committed a serious offence may also be housed in a place of safety instead of
the OH during the period of inquiry.64
The State Governments have been empowered to frame Rules to provide for the
classification and segregation of juveniles also in Special Homes (SH) (institutions

62
Supra Note 19
63
Supra Note 15
64
Available at: www.ncrb.nic.in (last updated 22nd October, 2015)

29
where a juvenile may be placed as per a final order of the JJB) on the basis of age, the
nature of offence committed, and their mental and physical status.65
The JJB can also pass a final protective custody order that a juvenile above 16 years of
age who has committed an offence so serious in nature that it would not be in his
interest or the interest of other juveniles in an SH to place him there and that none of
the other measures specified would be suitable, be kept in a place of safety. 66
Juveniles who have been found guilty of committing heinous or serious offences can,
at the most be sent to an SH for a maximum period of three years. At the time of passing
final orders, the JJB can also reduce the period of stay if it satisfied that it is necessary
to do so having regard to the nature of the offence and the circumstances of the case.67
Such juveniles, like all others, are entitled to be socially integrated/rehabilitated
through adoption, foster care, sponsorship and after care. After Care organizations are
mandated by law to take care of juveniles after they leave the SH for the purpose of
enabling them to lead an honest, industrious and useful life, and to facilitate their
transition from an institution-based life to mainstream society for social re-integration.
Such after care can be provided for a maximum of three years, and for a juvenile
between 17 and 18 years of age till he/she attains the age of 20 years.All juveniles in
after care come under the jurisdiction of the JJB.68
The law demands that intensive individualized attention be provided to such juveniles.
Probation Officers, the key duty bearers in this regard, are required to undertake a
number of responsibilities that are vital to achieve the goals relating to juveniles who
commit serious offences including developing various kinds of care plans, facilitating
after care, and mentoring, monitoring, supervision, and reporting the progress of each
juvenile. Individual Care Plans (ICPs) must be prepared for all juveniles within one
month of their admission into an institution in order to ensure they get individualized
attention in their journey towards reformation, rehabilitation, social mainstreaming and
restoration back into the community. The JJBs are required to pass final orders based
on these ICPs prepared by a probation officer or voluntary organization on the basis of
interaction with the juvenile and his family where possible. Moreover, a Mental Health
Care Plan, with recommendations from experts has to be maintained in every case file

65
ibid
66
Supra Note 64
67
Supra Note 64
68
Supra Note 64

30
and integrated into the ICP of every juvenile. The Management Committees that are to
be set up in every institution are also required to meet every month to consider and
review the individual problems of juveniles, provision of legal aid services and
institutional adjustment, prepare Pre-release restoration plans, as well as post-release
and follow up plans as part of the ICP for juveniles who completing their term of
placement in a Fit Institution or SH and to also review these plans on a quarterly basis.69
Given that juveniles who commit serious crime are likely to have problems related to
mental health and/or chemical dependency, if a juvenile appears to the JJB as being
mentally ill, or addicted to alcohol or other drugs which leads to behavioural changes,
an order can be passed directing that the child be sent to a psychiatric hospital/ nursing
home. In such cases the JJB may, on the advice given in the certificate of discharge of
the psychiatric hospital/nursing home, order to remove such juvenile to an Integrated
Rehabilitation Centre for Addicts or similar centres maintained by the State
Government for mentally ill persons (including the persons addicted to any narcotic
drug or psychotropic substance). The law permits such removal to be made only for the
period required for the in-patient treatment of such juvenile.70
An appropriate response to juveniles who commit serious crime requires a system that demands
specialized customized responses based on the needs and circumstances of each juvenile, while
also taking into consideration the impact on the victim of his crime (if any), and the wider
interests of society. From the above analysis it is clear that juvenile law in India does indeed
provide for a juvenile jurisprudence grounded system which focuses on reforming and
rehabilitating juveniles who commit serious crime through individualized inter-disciplinary
services that are monitored and reviewed rigorously, aspects that are not envisaged in the adult
criminal justice system which is premised on retribution and punishment. It also retains the
focus on the ends of justice, taking into account the interests of the victim and wider society.71
Chapter 5: Gaps in law
Though the law is fairly progressive, it does have certain gaps that need to be filled in order to
better address the challenge of effectively reforming, treating and rehabilitating juveniles who
commit serious offences and preventing recidivism. Evidence Based Research on what works
with such juveniles reveals a range of inter-disciplinary strategies, approaches and models; the
insights of which need to inform law reform processes in India. The best practices from other

69
Supra Note 64
70
Supra Note 64
71
Supra Note 64

31
jurisdictions need to be taken into account. More importantly, the experiential insights of the
individuals and organizations working with this group of children around the country needs to
be collated and analysed in order to identify gaps or weaknesses in law. The Centre for Child
and the Laws Juvenile Justice Teams (JJ Team) field interventions with juveniles in
Bangalore Urban and Rural, (especially the work on Multi-Disciplinary Pre-Hearing Case
Conferences with juveniles alleged/found to have committed serious crime along with other
actors involved in his/her case, aimed at impacting JJB decisions, individual care plans, and
pre-release and post-release plans), is also informative in this regard. An initial list of
legislative gaps on this issue is given below.72
The Act does not taken into account the special needs and requirements of certain sub-groups
among juveniles in conflict with law. For instance, it fails to stipulate guidelines or policy
directions for dealing with juvenile sex offenders, recidivists, female juveniles and child or
other victims of juvenile crime.73
a) Juvenile sex offenders: "Adolescence is a time of dramatic change. It is a time of awakened
sexual interest, and for many youth, a willingness to engage in rule-breaking behavior that will
not persist into adulthood. However, young people do commit serious and violent sexual
crime. Research indicates that juveniles who sexually offend are a diverse population with
complex treatment needs; sexual arousal is dynamic and not fixed in the majority of cases;
those who sexually offend are responsive to treatment interventions and such juveniles are
more similar than different to other delinquent youth. Provisions relating to management,
reformation or treatment of juvenile sex offenders are however conspicuous by their absence
in the JJ Act and Rules.74
b) Juvenile Recidivists: Our experience has shown that there are some young adolescents who
are trapped in a cycle of crime and frequently re-enter the proverbial revolving door of the JJ
system. These children are most often those with complex unmet needs, and pose enormous
challenges to the staff, the judicial officers handling the case, and also to the community. Here
again, provisions concerning how functionaries and the JJB need to deal with juvenile
recidivists do not feature anywhere in the legal framework a serious flaw that prevents
effective remedies for this group.75

72
Available at www.un.org (last updated 24th October, 2015)
73
ibid
74
S.P. Srivastva, Juvenile Justice In India; Policy, Programme and Perspective,(1989), Ajanta Publications
(India), Delhi,pp.160-162
75
ibid

32
c) Girls who commit serious crime: While boys and girls entering the system may share many
common characteristics, research confirms that girls overwhelmingly have childhood histories
of trauma and abuse, mental health disorders, and family separation. In addition, girls are more
likely to be involved in prostitution or prostitution-related offenses. Though only 6% of all
juveniles apprehended in the year 2011 were girls, they face much graver battles in their
journey towards rehabilitation and re-integration into the community. The law is largely silent
on girl juveniles, though there are rules providing for segregation based on sex in the OH/SH,
and for re-integration into society through customized after care programmes. There are no
legal standards however, for specific kind of services that are to be provided to girls in Special
Homes resulting in statutory functionaries and civil society actors finding it extremely
challenging to deal with this special group of children. The JJ teams experience in handling
one such girl, who, having apparently earlier got trapped into prostitution herself, and later
apprehended and charged as a co-accused with eight adults, and finally found guilty for a series
of crimes including those that are punishable with life imprisonment if committed by an adult,
is a vivid case in point.76
d) Victims of serious crimes committed by juveniles: The juvenile justice system does not
reflect an understanding of the plight or the rights of victims of juvenile crime. Restorative
Justice programmes that enable victim offender reconciliation is increasingly gaining ground
around the world (even in cases of juveniles who commit serious/violent crime), attempting to
balance competency development, accountability and public safety goals in an effort to restore
victims, communities and offenders, and restore broken relationships. The JJ team has
painfully experienced the unique challenges that emerge when a juvenile is found to have
committed a serious offence against another child. There are little or no services or systems in
place to ensure that the needs and rights of victims of juvenile offences are respected and
realized. Victims and their families who have had to navigate through the system without any
legal, psycho-social, or financial assistance or support end up disillusioned and embittered by
the process as well as the outcome of JJB proceedings. This contributes to a negative perception
of the juvenile justice system.77

76
J.P.S. Sirohi, Criminology and Penology, Allahabad Law Agency, 2008, pp.399-402
77
President's Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice, Task Force Report Juvenile
Delinquency (1967) pp.7-9

33
Increasing the effectiveness of reformation and rehabilitation of such juveniles needs to be
prioritized in order to build accountability and faith in the system, and prevent reactionary
legislative measures.78
5.1 Gaps in administration of juvenile justice, specifically pertaining to the issue of serious
offences committed by juveniles
Lowering the age of the juvenile or incorporating a waiver system to enable JJBs to transfer
juveniles alleged to have committed serious crime to the adult criminal justice system will not
help in better protection of women from juvenile crime or in reform of serious juvenile
offenders. The most urgent and critical area of reform therefore, is not of the law, but of the
way it is being implemented. If the law is implemented in letter and spirit, and services are
designed and delivered by dedicated professionals from various disciplines, juveniles alleged
to or found to have committed serious crime can indeed be reformed, rehabilitated and re-
socialized.79
At present, the system is bogged down by infrastructural insufficiencies and untrained staffs
that render the legislative goal of reformation and re-integration of juveniles a distant dream.
There is often little or no tolerance, understanding or willingness to treat such children for who
they are young adolescents, most of who seem to be on the margins of society. This is borne
out by the NCRB data, according to which 6122 of the juveniles apprehended in 2011 were
illiterate, 12, 803 had education up to primary level and 56.7% hailed from poor families whose
annual income was up to Rs 25,000. These juveniles are largely treated as hardened criminals
at the OH, SH, or the place of safety. There are no specialized cadres in the JJ system be it
Probation Officers, Public Prosecutors, Superintendents, Police officers, or even Social Work
members/ Principal Magistrates of the JJB, etc. The quality of social investigation reports,
counseling, supervision and mentoring through probation services, community services, SH,
etc., are largely abysmal if at all available. Functionaries are almost always de-motivated and
generally consider these as punishment postings as on the one hand they do not get the training
and support necessary to deal with extremely challenging situations in the OH and SH, and on
the other get blamed when children escape or commit suicide. Though most State governments
do have some kind of training offered for functionaries, JJBs, SJPUs and others, these are
sporadic and lack a vision for competency building, a comprehensive curriculum, or cutting
edge training material.80

78
K. S. Shukla, Role of the Police in Juvenile Justice, op. cit., pp. 169-70
79
ibid
80
Clemens Bartollas and Sthara J. Miller, The juvenile Offender: Control, Correction and Treatment p.60

34
There are only 30 Special Homes in the country. Several States have not even established an
SH. There is hardly any data available on whether juveniles committing serious crime are
indeed receiving the treatment and reformatory services that are necessary for rehabilitation
and re-integration.81
The inclination of the government to protect children is highly suspect given that the overall
allocation has dropped from 4.76% in 2012-13 to 4.64% in 2013-14. Further, the allocation for
the Integrated Child Protection Scheme48 has dropped from Rs 400 crore to Rs 300 crore.
Child protection remains an area of neglect as it constitutes a measly 0.04% of the total budget.
In the absence of adequate allocation, the reformation, rehabilitation and treatment envisaged
under the JJ Act cannot be actualized. It will then be unfair to declare that the Act has failed to
prevent juvenile crime, deliver justice to victims of juvenile crime or reform juveniles who
commit serious offences given that the infrastructure and resources necessary to do so have not
been made available.82
The National Crime Records Bureau, the nodal agency under the Ministry of Home Affairs,
collects data on crime and recidivism. However, one serious gap is that it does not collect data
on juvenile recidivists, an issue that becomes a major hurdle in either ensuring a suitable
response to such children or in assessing the impact of the juvenile justice system.83
The Central Government/State Governments therefore need to take concrete measures to not
only implement the provisions of the law and rules more effectively, but also put in place,
activate and take seriously the recommendations made by monitoring and reviewing authorities
to demonstrate results. The role of the Courts, including the Juvenile Justice Committees set
up by the High Courts in certain states also needs to be highlighted, in enabling enforcement
of the law and rules. The most urgent need therefore is to build the faith of victims, the families
of juveniles and wider public in the JJ system through effective implementation of the law, not
through cursory and unfounded amendments in law.84

Chapter 6: Appropriateness of Adult Time for Adult Crime

All human beings, especially growing children need to be taught that there are consequences
for their actions, for which they will be held accountable. However, the means for ensuring
such accountability should be grounded in child/adolescent psychology, the human rights of

81
Robert Portune, Changing Adolescent Attitude toward Police (Cincinnati W.H. Anderson Company (1971)
82
ibid
83
Fourth Report of the National Police Commission, June 1980, p.40
84
Government of India, Second Report of the National Police Commission

35
children and a deeper understanding of the circumstances that led to such behavior/actions. The
Committee on the Rights of the Child has gone to the extent of stating that the overriding factor
in responding to severe offences by children must be the need to safeguard the well-being and
best interests of the child and to promote his/her reintegration.85
In this light, it must be examined whether subjecting children who commit serious offences to
the adult criminal justice system would be an appropriate response and whether such juveniles
should be sentenced to death or life imprisonment. The UNCRC expressly prohibits the
imposition of death penalty and life imprisonment without the possibility of release upon
children below the age of 18 years. The Committee on the Rights of the Child encouraged
States to develop and implement a wide range of measures to ensure that children are dealt
with in a manner appropriate to their well-being, and proportionate to both their circumstances
and the offence committed. These should include care, guidance and supervision, counselling,
probation, foster care, educational and training programmes, and other alternatives to
institutional care (Art. 40 (4)). Emphasizing that detention or imprisonment of children must
be used only a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time55, the
Committee stressed on the need for a robust probation service to allow for the maximum and
effective use of measures such as guidance and supervision orders, probation, community
monitoring or day report centres, and the possibility of early release from detention. In
conformity with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the JJ Act prohibits the JJB
from awarding a sentence of imprisonment or capital punishment.86
By dealing with juveniles as adults and sending them to adult prisons, the State will effectively
deny them access to rehabilitative and reformative interventions under the JJ Act that are absent
in the adult system. Further, the adversarial mode of adult criminal trials is distinct from the
child friendly hearing provided under the JJ Act. As an under-trial or convict in prisons
housing adults, the juvenile will invariably be exposed and inducted into the adult world of
crime and violence, negatively impacting his chances for reform. In such a scenario, neither is
the juvenile going to be reformed, nor is society going to be at any less risk when a juvenile
exits a prison even after successfully completing the terms of his sentence. A poignant letter
from a youth detained in an adult prison in the USA to the District Attorney is a convincing
argument in this regard. This letter is a fine example of what the government needs to do while
formulating policy and law respect the rights of children to be heard, to enable them to tell the

85
K.S. Shukla and P.D. Malviya, Juvenile Aid Police Units, Police Research and Development, Quarter III &
IV,1972, p.17
86
Ruth Shonle Cavan Theodore N. Ferdinand IV Edition p. 341

36
story of the lived (and often suicidal) experiences in jail, a situation India is not unfamiliar
with.87

These positions must be scrutinized in order to assess their compatibility with the Indian
Constitution as well as the international legal framework. A blanket transfer of juveniles who
commit serious crimes to the adult system would imply a presumption that such juveniles are
not amenable to reform. More importantly, it would deprive them of their right to contest the
transfer/waiver and thus vitiate their due process rights under Article 21. Yet, an individualized
approach is also not bereft of constitutional concerns. Who should decide whether a juvenile
should be transferred to the adult system? What are the factors that must be taken into
consideration the maturity of the juvenile, the threat posed by him/her to society at large, or
the absence of any scope of rehabilitation? What about the social history of the juvenile and
the circumstances leading up to the crime? What should be the overriding concern be - the
threat posed by the juvenile to society at large, the interests of the victim/s (if any), or the best
interests of the juvenile? How should these interests be balanced? Such decisions will
invariably be subjective in nature and prone to arbitrariness. Is a precise determination of a
juveniles incapability to reform or psychosocial maturity levels possible?88

Chapter 7: Specific Recommendations concerning Juveniles who commit Serious Crime


(i) Expansion of list of orders that can be passed by JJBs

Section 15 of the JJ Act, which stipulates orders that may be passed by the JJB upon finding
that juvenile has committed an offence may be considered for amendment on the following
lines, after rigorous debate which takes into account the insight from relevant disciplines and
practice:89
a. A proviso to Section 15(1) may be included that empowers the JJB to pass orders that include
a combination of any of the options under this Section based on the needs of the offender, the
goal of reformation/rehabilitation, the circumstances and the gravity of the offence. However,
this should be on condition that the maximum period of detention is not increased, and that the
provisos to Section 15 (g) are adhered to. Further, JJBs must be empowered to empanel experts

87
B.N. Mishra, Juvenile Delinquency and Justice System, p. 34
88
Hirach. N. Dynamic cause of Juvenile crime p. 239
89
M.J. Sethna Society and The Criminal (5th Edition) p. 292

37
who can readily provide assistance and professional opinions to inform their orders and feed
into SIRs.90
b. Another option may be included under Section 15(1), to provide for placement in a Special
Therapeutic Treatment programme in a State or Regional Institute of Mental Health,
recognized or authorized by the State/Central Government for the purpose of reforming and
treating all juveniles, but more specifically those found to have committed serious crime, who
in the opinion of the JJB will benefit from such an integrated and specialized treatment
programme.91
c. All final orders by a JJB for juveniles found to have committed serious crime should include
attendance at mandatory counselling sessions for the juvenile (as well as the family to the extent
feasible), as well as other structured programmes that may be listed out in the Rules, including
Education, employment, independent living skills, chemical dependency treatment, anger
management, victim empathy courses and sex offender counselling etc.92
d. For juveniles found guilty of sexual offences or violent offences, the final orders should
include a Risk Assessment order, and a Safety Plan order which could include a no contact
order with restrictions related to places the juvenile cannot go, and persons he cannot
voluntarily come in contact with.93
e. The period for which a juvenile may be placed in an SH may be increased to more than three
years, if it is found that such juvenile will benefit from specialized therapeutic treatment as
provided for under Section 48 and 58 of the JJ Act, provided that such period shall not extend
to more than four years, and that the JJB reviews the progress of the juvenile every month, with
the assistance of the empanelled experts as suggested above.94
f. Rules may be revised to provide for Guidelines on Rehabilitation of Juvenile Offenders
which include models that have been found to have been effective in other jurisdictions.95
(ii) Additional specific recommendations for Juvenile Sex Offenders
While initiating efforts to amend the law to deal with this special group as recommended above,
the executive arm of government needs to also prioritize investment in developing and
establishing Specialized Juvenile Offender Rehabilitation Programmes to be offered for
juvenile sex offenders. Experts and the four Regional Institutes of Mental Health and others

90
Shipra Lavania, 'Juvenile Delinquency',(1983) Pub. by Rawat Publications, Jaipur, p.19-20
91
ibid
92
Annual Report of Childrens Aid society Bombay (1960-61) pp. 33-34
93
K. Kusum, 'Juvenile Delinquency- A Socio-legal Study'(1979) Published by KLM Book House, New Delhi, p 15
94
Ferguson (1952), the young Delinquency in his social settings, London Oxford University press pp. 11-32.
95
ibid

38
could be mandated to design a replicable module of an Integrated Treatment Programme for
Juveniles committing serious offences, especially Juvenile Sex Offenders. NIMHANS,
Bangalore has recently been given the status of an Institute of National Importance and can
play a nodal role in designing replicable evidence based demonstration projects in this area,
especially given that the Government of Karnataka has already partnered with the institution
to train all the counsellors appointed under the ICPS scheme in the state. These models could
then be anchored by the counsellor at the OH / SH with help from local mental health
institutions and specialists. Such an Integrated Treatment programme should mandatorily
include a) Treatment: Psychiatric treatment for those juveniles diagnosed as having a
psychiatric disorder, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Anger Replacement Training, Family
Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, Chemical Dependency Treatment, etc. 96 b)
Education: This should include Special Education for those juveniles with mental impairments,
sexuality education, value education, and life skills education, etc. c)
Apprenticeship/Vocational Training/Sheltered Work experience. The overall goal for such
integrated treatment facilities should be to train the juvenile sex offender to manage and change
his/her behaviour, in order to achieve his/her own goals in a progressively less secure setting.
This may mean that the SH could be designed in a manner that enables juveniles to transition
from very secure to less secure settings within the SH in a phased manner, possibly through
preparation and monitoring of ICPs and Behaviour Modification programmes. In the final
phase, the juvenile needs to be prepared for release back into the community, and this will
require structured After Care programmes for such juveniles with high levels of monitoring,
mentoring and psycho-social support systems in place.97 Sensitization and Training in handling
juvenile sex offenders must therefore be included in curriculum of law schools, schools of
social work, counselling training institutes, police training academies, judicial academies, and
training institutes for JJ functionaries. Standards adopted by the International Association for
the Treatment of Sexual Offenders to guide the formulation and implementation of the above
recommendations are also informative in this regard.98
(iii) Enhancing effectiveness of rehabilitation programs
The principle aim of the juvenile justice system is to offer protection and treatment to children
in keeping with their developmental needs. It must be realized that the objectives of ensuring

96
M.J. Sethna Society and the criminal 5th Edition p. 291
97
Shaw, C.R. and McKay, H.D., Are broken homes a causative factor in juvenile delinquency? Social Forces,10,
1932, 514-524
98
Srivastava, S.S. Juvenile Vagarancy: A Socio-Ecological Study of juveniles Vagarents: Asia Publication House
1963.

39
public safety and prevention of juvenile crime and recidivism cannot be achieved by adopting
an overly penal approach. Instead, greater investment is required in designing evidence-based
rehabilitation programmes that will be effective.99 The Ministry of Women and Child
Development must, in collaboration with the Commissions for Protection of Child Rights,
NGOs, doctors, psychologists, social workers, and other experts undertake extensive research
on rehabilitation programmes for all juveniles in conflict with law, with special focus on the
effective means of dealing with juveniles who commit serious offences. Research has shown
that appropriate rehabilitation outcomes can be achieved by taking into account the
characteristics of the program, the offender, and the settings in which it is delivered. In this
regard, the What Works principles of correctional interventions must be considered. 100 They
comprise five principles Risk Principle, Needs Principle, Responsivity Principle, Integrity
Principle and Professional Discretion Principle, which suggest that reductions in recidivism
can be maximized when programs select appropriate candidates, target factors that directly
relate to their offending, and are delivered in ways that facilitate learning. The what works
principles suggest a model of differentiated case management, whereby those with the highest
level of need and greatest risk of reoffending are given the most intensive programs. This is
not only likely to maximise program effectiveness, but also provide a reasonable and
empirically defensible way of allocating resources. Although there are differences between
adult and juvenile services, we would argue that adherence to each principle is still likely to
improve rehabilitation outcomes.101
(iv) Place of Safety to adhere to minimum standards to ensure it is indeed a safe place
It should be mandatory for all States to establish places of safety, and for them to adhere to all
the fundamental principles enshrined in the JJ Model Rules. All monitoring and Inspection
authorities under the Act and Rules shall be given unrestricted access to such places, in order
to conduct surprise visits, so as to prevent and address allegations of torture, abuse or neglect
of juveniles residing there. Juveniles not released on bail and placed in such places should be
segregated from those placed there as per final orders of the JJB, and in both these categories,
juveniles should be classified and segregated based on age, sex and degree of offence or mental
status. A Special Committee consisting of professional social workers, counsellors,
psychiatrists, advocates, child rights experts, etc., should be established in order to provide

99
Bhakhry, Savita: Children in India and their rights. (National Human Rights Commission, New Delhi, 2006)
(NHRC)
100
ibid
101
ibid

40
specialized services to juveniles residing in such places of safety. Such Special Committee
should have access to requisite staff such as Probation Officers, Counsellors, Outreach workers
as provided for under the JJ Act and Rules to Special Homes and Observation Homes. Law
needs to provide for separate arrangements to be made to house persons above the age of 18
years who are under inquiry by the JJB, or found to have committed a crime, and ordered to be
kept in detention as per final orders. It is unconstitutional for such persons to be kept in adult
correctional institutions as they are entitled to the provisions of juvenile law for crimes
committed as a child.102
(v) Prevention of Recidivism
The law needs to be amended in order to make provisions that will effectively identify and
address the problem of recidivism, which jeopardize public safety, and increase costs incurred
on law enforcement and juvenile justice.103
Concerned authorities such as the National Crime Records Bureau, the State and District Child
Protection Units, the National Institute for Public Co-operation and Child Development
(NIPCCD), academia and research institutes need to take on responsibility for collecting and
analyzing data on recidivism. The insights from this should inform policy and law, but also
provide a strong rationale for a social audit on the effectiveness of service delivery in meeting
the goals of juvenile justice. Data on the number of juvenile recidivists, their age, sex and the
type of offences committed at the first instance and second/ third instance, the nature of final
orders passed in cases, the involvement of adult offenders or peers along with relevant data
about them could be valuable in this regard. Probation Officers, counsellors, and other
functionaries need to be made accountable for identifying juveniles at a higher risk of
recidivism, case management, monitoring and ensuring educational/vocational/mental
health/financial/chemical dependency treatment and other support for juveniles residing in OH
and SH as well as those released back into the community.104
(vi) Establishment of Integrated Treatment Centres for juveniles in conflict with law
While the law is enabling, systems are not in place to help identify and treat juveniles alleged
to or found to have committed serious crime, who also have problems regarding chemical
dependency, or mental health problems.105

102
Choudhary, R N: Law relating of juvenile justice in India. (Orient Publishing Company, Allahabad, 2005)
(NHRC)
103
Ibid
104
ibid
105
ibid

41
(viii) Establishment of Special Homes
The JJ Act must be amended so as to make it mandatory and not discretionary for all State
Governments to set up Special Homes under this Act so as to ensure provision of specialized
services to such juveniles. The Rules need to flesh out the various kinds of mandatory and
optional services and structured programmes that need to be provided that reflect the special
nature of such institutions.106
(ix) Education as a means to address juvenile crime
The Government should consider amending the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory
Education to enable the extension of the age limit for the fundamental right to Education up to
18 years from the present 14 years. This will ensure that the children of that age group are
retained in common neighbourhood schools until age 18 or completion of Class XII, instead of
being subjected to risk and exploitation at a very tender age and facing the risk of getting into
situations of neglect, abuse or exploitation and/or turning to crime. Funding for implementation
of the JJ Act to State Governments for implementing Rules relating to provision of education
and related programmes needs to be enhanced, and the State Governments need to be
accountable for ensuring that the right to education for all children in the age group of 6-14
years in these institutions is realized.107
(x) Addressing the unique challenges of girls who commit serious crime
Functionaries in the JJ system need to be sensitized and trained to deal with girls who commit
serious crime. Given the small numbers of such children, it is recommended that at least one
SH be set up in every State for such girls, and rehabilitation programmes be customized to meet
their unique needs.108
(xi) Case Conferencing
Rules could be amended to provide for Multi-Disciplinary Case Conferencing as a means to
inform decisions by the JJB including the various kinds of Care Plans, given the additional
challenges in dealing with this special group of juveniles.109

106
NATIONAL REPORT on A world fit for children. (India, Ministry of Women and Child Development, 2007)
www.unicef.org/worldfitforchildren/files/India_WFFC5_Report
107
ibid
108
ibid
109
NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION, NEW DELHI: Workshop on detention. (National Human Rights
Commission, New Delhi, 2008)

42
7.1 Specific Recommendations concerning Victims of Serious Offences committed by
Juveniles
Though the Cr.P.C enables private lawyers to submit an application to assist the Public
Prosecutor86, this is inadequate, given that many victims are unable to afford this assistance.
The Legal Services Authority could therefore consider setting up of a panel of free legal aid
lawyers who could assist the PP in representing the cases of all indigent victims of juvenile
crime (especially women and children). State Governments should be directed to notify Victim
Compensation Schemes. The JJBs, CWCs, advocates and support persons should be sensitized
about these and other victim compensation schemes. They also should provide information to
the child victims and their families in appropriate cases about accessing sponsorship schemes,
protective care etc., through enabling access to the CWC and the State Child Rights
Commissions.110
Law could be amended to expressly empower JJBs to direct that the fine collected from
juveniles or their parents be paid as compensation to the victim. The State Governments must
take measures to set up Victim Assistance Units90 which could provide integrated services
such as medical, counselling, legal, and a support person to assist victims in the JJB
proceedings.111
7.2 General Recommendations concerning Actualization of the Statutory Mandate
The effective implementation of the JJA and the ICPS is dependent on a number of
functionaries from a range of Departments, upon whom duties have been ascribed. If the goal
of juvenile justice is to create a sensitive and result oriented juvenile justice system that
effectively reforms and re-integrates serious offenders into the community, then it is but natural
that the duty bearers responsible for implementing the law, have a common vision, are
competent and committed, and find fulfilment in what they do. Particularly in the context of
serious offenders, the state has to recognize that unless a concerted effort is made in this
direction, the noble intent of the law will remain on paper, and the outrage of the public against
such juveniles will only exacerbate. We recommend that training be given to Public
Prosecutors to perform their unique role in the JJBs, one that is very different from the role
they perform in the adult criminal justice system, as here they are also required to adhere to the
philosophy, procedures and fundamental principles of juvenile justice. State Governments
should pay much greater attention to strengthening the Probation system for juveniles, given

110
NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION, NEW DELHI: National Conference on Juvenile Justice System in
India. (National Human Rights Commission, New Delhi, 2007) (NHRC)
111
ibid

43
that this is one of the key pillars of an effective justice system. 112 Lawyers representing such
juveniles need to be competent in child rights friendly lawyering, zealous, vigilant, and also
have the time and skill to work in close co-ordination with probation officers, counsellors,
social workers, psychiatrists, house parents, families, and others, in a multi-disciplinary team.
All this calls for a much higher commitment from legal education in the form of specialized
clinical as well as continuing legal education for lawyers/practicing advocates on the one hand
and dedicated cadre of such lawyers along with sustained monitoring systems to be established
by the State, District and Taluk Legal Services Authorities, so that every juvenile alleged or
found to have committed serious offences in even the remotest corner has access to quality
legal aid and representation.113
Vigilance and dedicated attention is required by the judiciary and government functionaries to
reduce pendency. Victims of juvenile offences need to know that justice will be speedy, fair
and just. Juveniles in conflict with law, and all those who think that they can use this group of
children to commit crime and get away, because of the long drawn out inquiries, need to get
the message that speedy and effective justice is the hallmark of the juvenile justice system.114

Chapter 8: Judicial Pronouncements

1. Sanjay Suri & Anr . Vs. Delhi Administration , Delhi & Anr115
This matter dealt with the incarceration of children in Tihar jail, and resulted in a separate
structure being erected to keep juveniles. The Supreme Court had appointed the District Judge
to inquire into the conditions prevailing in the juvenile ward of Tihar jail. The inquiry revealed,
amongst other things, that juvenile prisoners were sexually assaulted by adult prisoners. The
Supreme Court lamented, We are anxious to ensure that no child within the meaning of the
Childrens Act is sent to jail because otherwise the whole object of the Childrens Act of
protecting the child from bad influence of jail life would be defeated. This judgment instructed
every Magistrate or trial Judge authorized to issue warrants for detention of prisoners to ensure
that every warrant authorizing detention specifies the age of the person to be detained. Judicial
mind must be applied in cases where there is doubt about the age not necessarily by a trial
and every warrant must specify the age of the person to be detained. Further the jail authorities

112
Mukherjee, Satyanshu Kumar: Administration of juvenile correctional institutions (Sterling Publishers
Private Limited, Delhi, 1974)
113
Methews, Susen: A report of the National Consultations on Juvenile Justice Centre for Child and Law and its
partners. (National Law School of India University, Bangalore, 1999)
114
ibid
115
1988 Supp SCC 160; 1988 SCC (Cri) 248; AIR 1988 SC 414; 1988 CriLJ 705 (SC)

44
were also instructed, We call upon the authorities in jails throughout India not to accept any
warrant of detention as a valid one unless the age of the detenu is shown therein. By this order
of ours, we make it clear that it shall be open to the jail authorities to refuse to honour a warrant
if the age of the person remanded to jail custody is not indicated.
2. Sanat Kumar Sinha Vs. State of Bihar & Ors116
This public interest petition was filed with regards to juvenile cases pending for long period of
time. From the facts called out from the reports received from various courts by the efficient
efforts of the counsels appearing in this case it appears that not only in some cases
investigations are pending but trials are going on for a period extending upto five years and in
large number of cases juveniles are still in prisons. This state of affairs indicates a pathetic
indifference to all concerned. We, therefore, direct that all criminal trials pending since three
years or more be quashed to the extent as far as the trials of juveniles in custody are concerned
and they are directed to be acquitted. They are released forthwith from custody or detention, as
the case may be. Further, in relation to trials that are pending since less than 3 years the court
should act in accordance with the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act and dispose them of,
in relation to where punishment is up to seven years, in accordance with the direction of the
Supreme Court in Sheela Barses case. In other cases, the court concerned should after giving
the prosecuting agency final opportunity to procure evidence as also to the defence to lead
evidence, should close the case and proceed to dispose them of in accordance with law.
3. State of Karnataka Vs. Harshad117
The question before the High Court was whether the Sessions Court or the Fast Track Court
has jurisdiction to entertain a juvenile case. The court categorically held that in view of section
6(1) of JJA 2000, the Juvenile Justice Board has the exclusive power of dealing with the trial
of Juveniles in conflict with law and to that extent, the jurisdiction of any Court including that
of the Sessions Court or Fast Track Court be barred. Furthermore, upon the submission of the
Public Prosecutor that only five Juvenile Justice Boards have been constituted to deal with the
entire State, and that each Juvenile Justice Board handles juvenile cases of a group of districts,
the High Court directed the State Government may consider the necessity of establishing one
Juvenile Justice Board for each district.
4. Ex. Gnr . Ajit Singh Vs. UOI118
The Petitioner, a juvenile, was enrolled in the army, and in Court Martial proceedings was

116
1991 (2) Crimes 241
117
2005 CriLJ 2357 (Karnataka )
118
2004 CriLJ 3994 (Delhi )

45
sentenced to suffer rigorous imprisonment for 7 years under the Army Act 1950. The High
Court held that the provisions of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act
2000 overrides the provisions of the Army Act 1950, hence the General Court Martial did not
have the jurisdiction to handle the case of a juvenile.
5. Rajinder Chandra vs . State of Chhatisgarh & Anr119
In this case the Supreme Court was faced with the question as to how an accused on the border
of 16 years was to be dealt with, and held in favour of holding the accused to be a juvenile. In
its judgment whilst referring to Arnit Das case, the Supreme Court held that this court has, on
a review of judicial opinion, held that while dealing with question of determination of the age
of the accused for the purpose of finding out whether he is a juvenile or not, a hyper-technical
approach should not be adopted while appreciating the evidence adduced on behalf of the
accused in support of the plea that he was a juvenile and if two views may be possible on the
said evidence, the court should lean in favour of holding the accused to be a juvenile in
borderline cases.
6. Bhola Bhagat Vs. State of Bihar120
Bhola Bhagat claimed to be 18 years of age in his section 313 CrPC statement which was
recorded 4 years after commission of the offence, and his co-accused Chandra Sen Prasad and
Mansen Prasad claimed to be 17 years and 21 years, respectively. The High Court did not avail
him the protection of juvenile legislation, viz., the Bihar Children Act 1970, on the ground that
other than the statement of the accused there was no other material to support that Bhola Bhagat
and the others were juveniles on the date of occurrence of the offence. The Supreme Court
opined that If the High Court had doubts about the correctness of their age as given by the
appellants and also as estimated by the trial court, it ought to have ordered an enquiry to
determine their ages. It should not have brushed aside their plea without such an enquiry. The
Supreme Court held Bhola Bhagat and his co-accused to be juveniles, The correctness of the
estimate of age as given by the trial court was neither doubted nor questioned by the state either
in the High Court or in this Court. The parties have, therefore, accepted the correctness of the
estimate of age of the three appellants as given by the trial court. Therefore, these three
appellants should not be denied the benefit of the provisions of a socially progressive statute.
In our considered opinion, since the plea had been raised in the

119
(2002) 2 SCC 287; 2002 SCC (Cri) 333; AIR 2002 SC 748; 2002 CriLJ 1014 (SC)
120
(1997) 8 SCC 720; AIR 1998 SC 236

46
High Court and because the correctness of the estimate of their age has not been assailed, it
would be fair to assume that on the date of the offence, each one of the appellants squarely fell
within the definition of the expression child. We are under these circumstances reluctant to
ignore and overlook the beneficial provisions of the Acts on the technical ground that there is
no other material to support the estimate of ages of the appellants as given by the trial court,
though the correctness of that estimate has not been put in issue before any forum.
7. Sanjay Suri & Anr . Vs. Delhi121
This matter dealt with the incarceration of children in Tihar jail, and resulted in a separate
structure being erected to keep juveniles. The Supreme Court had appointed the District Judge
to inquire into the conditions prevailing in the juvenile ward of Tihar jail. The inquiry revealed,
amongst other things, that juvenile prisoners were sexually assaulted by adult prisoners. The
Supreme Court lamented, We are anxious to ensure that no child within the meaning of the
Childrens Act is sent to jail because otherwise the whole object of the Childrens Act of
protecting the child from bad influence of jail life would be defeated. This judgment instructed
every Magistrate or trial Judge authorized to issue warrants for detention of prisoners to ensure
that every warrant authorizing detention specifies the age of the person to be detained. Judicial
mind must be applied in cases where there is doubt about the age not necessarily by a trial and
every warrant must specify the age of the person to be detained. Further the jail authorities
were also instructed, We call upon the authorities in jails throughout India not to accept any
warrant of detention as a valid one unless the age of the detenu is shown therein. By this order
of ours, we make it clear that it shall be open to the jail authorities to refuse to honour a warrant
if the age of the person remanded to jail custody is not indicated.
8. Master Rajeev Shankarlal Parmar & Anr . Vs. Officer -in -Charge , Malad Police
Station & Ors122
The accused was declared a juvenile by the Sessions Court, but was not shifted to the
Observation Home nor was his case transferred to the JJB. It was only the High Courts
intervention that resulted in Rajeev being shifted to the Observation Home three months after
having been declared a juvenile. Thus, there was a gap of more than three months in carrying
out the order passed by the learned Additional Sessions judge. The order dated 7th March 2003
was implemented and affected only on 13th June 2003. The excuse of the jailor for not
complying with the courts orders was the non availability of escort. Rajeev was awarded

121
Administration, Delhi & Anr . : 1988 Supp SCC 160; 1988 SCC (Cri) 248; AIR 1988 SC 414; 1988 CriLJ 705 (SC)
122
2003 CriLJ 4522 (Bom )

47
compensation of Rs.15,000/- by the High Court. The State challenged this order before the
Supreme Court, but to no avail.
9. Master Salim Ikramuddin Ansari & Anr . Vs. Officer -in-Charge , Borivali Police
Station , Mumbai & Ors123
In this case the excuse of the jailor for not transferring the accused to the Observation Home
was that the order of the Sessions Court declaring Salim a juvenile, though transmitted by the
Registrar of Sessions Court and received by the jail, was misplaced. Under the High Courts
order, Salim was transferred to the Observation Home on 9th July 2004, i.e., seven months after
the Sessions Court order. Salim was awarded compensation of Rs.1,00,000/- . The Bombay
High Court examined the granting of bail under section 12 of JJA 2000, and observed,
According to this section, the first petitioner can be released on bail with or without surety.
Looking to the peculiar facts and circumstances, we direct the Juvenile Justice Board to release
the first petitioner on his executing personal bond only.
10. Ravinder Singh Gorkhi Vs. State of U.P.124
As in Gopinath Ghoshs case, in this case to the contention of juvenility was raised for the first
time before the Supreme Court. Ravinder Gorkhi claimed before the Supreme Court to be a
juvenile on the date of offence, i.e., 15th May 1979, under the then prevailing U.P. Children
Act 1951. The question with regards to the age of the accused was referred to the Sessions
Judge. A School Leaving Certificate was relied upon by the appellant wherein the date of birth
was recorded as 1st June 1963, hence, the Sessions Judge returned a finding of juvenility.
Ravinder Gorkhi was just under 16 years on the date of offence, which made him a juvenile
under the U.P. Act. The Supreme Court rejected the finding of the Sessions Judge and the
appeal was dismissed. The Supreme Court observed that, The entries made in the school
leaving certificate, evidently had been prepared for the purpose of the case. The second
Copy and not the original school leaving certificate was produced in court. Moreover, the
Headmaster who gave evidence did not produce the admission register. This was the undoing.
The original register has not been produced. The authenticity of the said register, if produced,
could have been looked into.

11. Sunil Rathi Vs. State of U.P.125

123
2005 CriLJ 799 (Bom )
124
(2006) 5 SCC 584; 2006 CriLJ 2791 (SC).
125
(2006) 9 SCC 603; (2006) 3 SCC (Cri) 351.

48
The question before the Supreme Court was whether the appellant on the date of occurrence
was a juvenile. The High Court had on examination of the documentary evidence held that the
same did not conclusively prove that Sunil Rathi was juvenile. The Supreme Court set aside
the order of the High Court and directed that the appellant be examined by the Medical Board
to ascertain his age. We have perused the order of the High Court. The High Court came to the
conclusion, after considering the certificates produced, that they did not conclusively prove
that he was a juvenile. However, when this objection was raised, the petitioner was not sent for
examination by the Medical Board to ascertain his age. Normally, in a case where the evidence
is not clear and convincing, the report of the Medical Board is of some assistance.
12. Pradeep Kumar Vs. State of U.P.126
All the three appellants were declared to have fallen within the definition of child under the
U.P. Childrens Act 1951 on the date of occurrence. The appellants, viz., Pradeep Kumar,
Krishan Kant and Jagdish, had in support of their respective claims, a medical examination
report, a horoscope and a School Leaving Certificate. As the appellants had ceased to be
children, the Supreme Court observed there is no question of sending them to an approved
school under the U.P. Childrens Act for detention. Accordingly, whilst sustaining the
conviction of the appellants under all the charges framed against them, we quash the sentences
awarded to them and direct their release forthwith.
13. Umesh Singh & Anr . Vs. State of Bihar127
In this case the contention of juvenility was not raised before the Trial Court or the High Court.
The Apex Court declared the appellant Arvind Singh a juvenile on the basis of a report of
experts which indicated that Arvind was hardly 13 years old on the date of the incident.
This report of experts was supported by the school certificate as well as the matriculation
certificate. The Supreme Court confirmed the conviction, but set-aside the sentence imposed
upon him and released Arvind Singh forthwith.
14. Upendra Kumar Vs. State of Bihar128
In this case to the Supreme Court upheld the conviction and quashed the sentence. Resultantly,
the appellant is directed to be released forthwith if not required in any other case.
15. Satya Mohan Singh Vs. State of U.P.129

126
1995 Supp (4) SCC 419; 1995 SCC (Cri) 395; AIR 1994 SC 104.
127
(2000) 6 SCC 89; 2000 SCC (Cri) 1026; AIR 2000 SC 2111; 2000 CriLJ 3167 (SC)
128
(2005) 3 SCC 592; 2005 SCC (Cri) 778
129
(2005) 11 SCC 395

49
The Trial Court convicted the appellant to life imprisonment for having committed an offence
under sections 302, 307 IPC. The sentence was upheld by the High Court. No claim of
juvenility had been raised before the Trial Court, but when the question of awarding sentence
was being considered, on behalf of the appellant, it was pointed out that he was fifteen years
of age in December 1980 when the judgment was being delivered by the trial court. The trial
court assessed the age of the appellant in December 1980 between sixteen to seventeen years.
The occurrence had taken place in December 1979. Therefore, even according to the estimate
of the trial court, the age of the appellant on the date of the occurrence was fifteen or sixteen.
This observation of the trial court clearly shows that on the date of the occurrence, the appellant
was a child within the meaning of section 2(4) of the Act. Stating thus, the Apex Court
declared the appellant a child, i.e., below 16 years of age, under the U.P. Childrens Act,
upheld the conviction and quashed his sentence.
16. Sahabuddin alias Shaboo Vs. State of U.P.130
Apprehending that a juveniles incarceration is detrimental to his well-being, the boy juvenile
was released on bail on his fathers executing a bond for his sons good conduct.
It shall be futile to say that constant incarceration of a juvenile is a greater threat to him than
his constructive release. There is every likelihood of his coming into contact of known
criminals than his being released on bail on the father furnishing bond for his better upkeep
and for maintaining good behaviour towards the society.
17. Vijendra Kumar Mali , etc . Vs. State of U.P.131
The High Court whilst dealing with the subject of a subordinate court having refused bail to a
juvenile on the ground that the offence was a serious one, observed; This court in a number
of judgments has categorically held that bail to the juvenile can only be refused if any one of
the grounds existed. So far as the ground of gravity is concerned, it is not covered under the
above provisions of the Act. If the bail application of the juvenile was to be considered under
the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, there would have been absolutely no
necessity for the enactment of the aforesaid Act. The language of section 12 of the Act itself
lays down that notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973
(2 of 1974) or in any other law for the time being in force, the juvenile accused shall be
released.
18. Abhay Kumar Singh Vs. State of Jharkhand132

130
2002 CriLJ 4579 (Allahabad )
131
2003 CriLJ 4619 (Allahabad )
132
2004 CriLJ 4533 (Jharkhand )

50
The Petitioner, a juvenile, had spent 3 years 8 months in detention. He was ordered to be
forthwith released on bail without executing any bond or furnishing surety. It was further
directed that Abhay Kumar Singhs inquiry under the Juvenile Justice Act 1986 be completed
within 3 months, and if not so completed, the criminal proceedings against him should
automatically stand quashed.
19. Ranjit Singh Vs. State of H.P.133
A juvenile was released on bail by the High Court on the ground that In reply, filed by the
prosecution, or in the police file, there is nothing to show that juvenile, if released on bail,
would be exposed to criminal or moral or physical or psychological danger nor it can be said
that his release will defeat the ends of justice.
20. Kalyan Chandra Sarkar Vs. Rajesh Ranjan134
This judgment deals with the right of an accused to file a subsequent bail application when
earlier bail application(s) have been rejected by subordinate or higher court. But even persons
accused of non-bailable offences are entitled to bail if the court concerned comes to the
conclusion that the prosecution has failed to establish a prima facie case against him and/or if
the court is satisfied for reasons to be recorded that in spite of the existence of prima facie case
there is a need to release such persons on bail where fact situations require it to do so. In that
process a person whose application for enlargement on bail is once rejected is not precluded
from filing a subsequent application for grant of bail if there is a change in the fact situation.
In such cases if the circumstances then prevailing require that such persons be released on bail,
in spite of his earlier applications being rejected, the courts can do so. The Supreme Court
held that subsequent bail application(s) can be filed if there is a change
in the fact situation or in law which requires the earlier view being interfered with or where the
earlier finding has become obsolete.
21. Pratap Singh vs. State of Jharkhand & Anr.135
One of the questions before the 5-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court was, Whether the date
of occurrence will be the reckoning date for determining the age of the alleged offender as
Juvenile offender or the date when he is produced in the Court / competent authority.
reckoning date for determination of the age of the juvenile is the date of offence, observed, It
is settled law that the interpretation of the Statute of beneficial legislation must be to advance
the cause of legislation to the benefit for whom it is made and not to frustrate the intendment

133
2005 CriLJ 972 (H.P.)
134
(2005) 2 SCC 42; 2005 SCC (Cri) 489; AIR 2005 SC 921; 2005 CriLJ 944 (S.C.)
135
(2005) 3 SCC 551; 2005 SCC (Cri) 742; AIR 2005 SC 2731; 2005 CriLJ 3091 (SC)

51
of the legislation. Courts that once accorded juveniles the benefits of juvenile legislation are
gradually changing their stance. A claim of juvenility raised for the first time before the
Supreme Court is being looked upon with suspicion. Death sentences are confirmed inspite of
ambiguity as to whether the convict is a juvenile. Opening of bank accounts decide the age of
a person, and statements made by the accused are no longer believed.
22. Surinder Singh Vs. State of U.P.136
The jurisdictional issue based on purported ages of the accused needs consideration first. The
question relating to the age of the accused was never raised before the courts below,
necessitating a decision in this regard Further, at no point of time during trial or before the
High Court this question was raised. Further, the necessity of determining the age of the
accused arises when the accused raises a plea and the court entertains a doubt. Here, no claim
was made by the accused that he was a child and, therefore, the question of the court
entertaining a doubt does not arise. In the aforesaid background, plea based on purported age
raised by the appellants has no merit and is rejected.
23. Om Prakash Vs. State of Uttaranchal137
The age recorded in the section 313 CrPC statement showed Om Prakash to be a juvenile on
the date of offence. The claim of juvenility was rejected by the Supreme Court only on the
ground that the appellant had opened a bank account a few months before commission of the
offence; the appellant would not have been in a position to open the account unless he was a
major and declared himself to be so. The Supreme Court upheld the death sentence awarded
by the Trial Court and confirmed by the High Court.
24. Ram Deo Chauhan Vs. State of Assam138
In this case a 3-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court did not reduce a sentence of death penalty
to one of life imprisonment, despite dissention from one Judge. The defense led evidence
before the Trial Court to prove that Ram Deo was a juvenile at the time of the offence. The
father of the petitioner was examined as well as the Headmaster to prove the school register
that showed the petitioner to be below 16 years on the date of offence. An associate professor
in forensic medicine who had examined the petitioner for ascertaining his age was called as a
Court witness, in the doctors opinion Ram Deo would have been between 15 to 16 years on
the relevant date. This evidence was not able to swerve the majority view, they instead paid

136
(2003) 10 SCC 26; 2004 SCC (Cri) 717; AIR 2003 SC 3811
137
(2003) 1 SCC 648
138
(2001) 5 SCC 714; AIR 2001 SC 2231

52
credence to the fact that (i) on the basis of Ram Deos fathers cross-examination, the
prosecution calculated the age of the petitioner as 26 years on the date of occurrence; (ii) a
former employer gave evidence as a prosecution witness that prior to the incident, the petitioner
had told him that he was 20 years old; (iii) the petitioner had described himself as 20 years old
when his statement was recorded on the date of offence; (iv) the accused was shown as 25 years
6 months in his statement recorded by the Trial Court 6 years after the date of incident. The
dissenting judgment gives detailed reasons as to why the prosecutions contention cannot be
accepted. We are unable to act on any one of the materials projected by the prosecution for
the purpose of reaching a conclusion regarding the age of the petitioner as on the relevant date.
The exercise of hatching or brewing up possible date or year of birth with the help of scattered
answers given by the father of the petitioner, all during cross-examination, is very unsound
course to be adopted. At any rate such an exercise cannot be sustained to the detriment of the
person concerned. Nor can I rely on the testimony of PW-4 who said that the accused told him
in 1991 that his age was 20. Such a statement cannot be regarded as reaching anywhere near
the proximity of reliability for fixing up the correct age of a person. The statement recorded
under Section 161 of the Code is not permitted by law to be use except for contradicting the
author of the statement. Hence it is impermissible to look into that material also. The sheet on
which the statement of the accused was recorded under Section 235 of the Code contains some
columns in the prefatory portion; one among them was regarding the age. The statement of the
accused actually starts only after making such entries in those prefatory columns. Unless the
person who filled up such prefatory columns is examined for showing how he gathered the
information regarding all such columns the entries therein cannot be regarded as legal evidence.
At any rate, we cannot proceed on a presumption that such columns were filled up by the
accused himself. The dissenting Judge whilst commuting the death sentence to life
imprisonment, though agreeing that the petitioner did not succeed in proving that that he was
aged below 16 years on the date of occurrence, went on to say But I am inclined to approach
the question from a different angle. Can death sentence be awarded to a person whose age is
not positively established by the prosecution as above 16 on the crucial date. If the prosecution
failed to prove positively that aspect, can a convicted person be allowed to be hanged by neck
till death in view of the clear interdict contained in Section 22(1) of the Juvenile Act.
25. State of Haryana Vs. Balwant Singh139

139
1993 (1) SCC Supp 409

53
The State challenged before the Supreme Court the finding of the Punjab & Haryana High
Court that Balwant Singh was a juvenile at the time of commission of the offence. The Apex
Court allowed the appeal of the State, When it is not the case of the respondent that he was a
child before the trial court, it is very surprising that High Court, based merely on the entry
made in the Section 313 statement mentioning the age of the respondent as 17 has concluded
that the respondent was a child within the definition of the Act [Haryana Children Act 1974]
on the date of the occurrence though there was no other material for the conclusion. In this
case the fact that the respondent gave his age as 17 years at two different stages, viz., at the
time of framing of charges and recording of section 313 CrPC statement, went against him.
26. Raisul Vs. State of U.P.140
The Supreme Court in this case held that the age of an accused cannot be determined by the
estimate of the courts, and preferred to rely upon the age mentioned by the accused in his
section 313 CrPC statement. The accused claimed to be 18 years old in his section 313 CrPC
statement which was recorded almost a year after the offence. Though Raisul was not a juvenile
under the U.P. Childrens Act 1951, due to his young age, the death sentence awarded to him
was commuted to one of life imprisonment. It is true that the learned Sessions judge on
looking at the appellant thought that he must not be less than 24 years of age, and the High
Court also, on seeing the appellant personally, took the view that the estimate of age given by
the Sessions Judge was correct, but we do not think that the learned Sessions Judge as well as
the High Court were right in substituting their own estimate in regard to the age of the appellant
and on the basis of such estimate, rejecting the statement as to his age made by the appellant.
Appearances can often be deceptive.
27. Jayendra & Anr . Vs. State of U.P.141
In this appeal a plea was raised on behalf of the appellant that he was a child and should have
been dealt with under the provisions of the U.P. Childrens Act 1951. The Supreme Court got
Jayendra medically examined, and on the basis of the Medical Examination Report declared
him to be a child on the date of offence. Whilst disposing of the appeal, the Supreme Court
upheld the conviction, quashed the sentence and forthwith ordered Jayendras release as he had
ceased to be a child on the date of the Apex Courts judgment. S.2 provides, in so far as it is
material, that if a child is found to have committed an offence punishable with imprisonment,
the court may order him to be sent to an approved school for such period of stay as will not

140
(1976) 4 SCC 301; 1976 SCC (Cri) 613; AIR 1977 SC 1822; 1977 CriLJ 1555 (SC)
141
(1981) 4 SCC 149; 1981 SCC (Cri) 809; AIR 1982 SC 685

54
exceed the attainment by the child of the age of 18 years. In the normal course, we would have
directed that the appellant Jayendra should be sent to an approved school but in view of the
fact that he is now nearly 23 years of age, we cannot do so.
28. Jaya Mala Vs. Home Secretary , Government of Jammu & Kashmir142
In this case the Apex Court took judicial notice that the margin of error in age ascertained by
radiological examination is two years on either side.
29. Bhoop Ram Vs. State of U.P.143
The only question before the Supreme Court in this case was whether the appellant, the original
accused, was a juvenile on the date of offence and should have been dealt with under the
provisions of the U.P. Children Act 1951. There was a conflict between the age recorded in the
School Leaving Certificate and the age opined in the Medical Examination Report. As per the
School Leaving Certificate, the appellant was a juvenile on the date of offence, but according
to the Medical Examination Report, the appellant had crossed the age of juvenility on the date
of occurrence. The Supreme Court after considering the arguments of the Counsels for the
appellant and the State, held that Bhoop Ram was a juvenile on the date of offence.
30. Gopinath Ghosh Vs. State of West Bengal144
The accused claimed before the Supreme Court for the first time that he was below 18 years of
age on the date of occurrence and entitled to the benefits of the West Bengal Children Act
1959, thus his conviction and life sentence under section 302 IPC be set-aside. The Supreme
Court framed the following issue for consideration of the Sessions Judge: What was the age
of the accused Gopinath Ghosh (appellant) on the date of the offence for which he was tried
and convicted? The Sessions Judge conducted a detailed inquiry; the accused was sent for
medical examination, the accuseds mother and the Headmaster of the school he attended were
examined by the court, and Gopinath Ghosh was declared a juvenile. The Supreme Court in its
judgment also dealt with the late raising of the claim of juvenility by the accused, we consider
it proper not to allow a technical contention that this contention is being raised in this Court for
the first time to thwart the benefit of the provisions being extended to the appellant, if he was
otherwise entitled to it. The conviction and sentence was held to be unsustainable and set-
aside. Gopinath Ghosh was granted bail, and his case was transferred to the competent authority
for proceeding in accordance with the law applicable to juveniles. Gopinath Ghosh was in

142
(1982) 2 SCC 538; 1982 SCC (Cri) 502; AIR 1982 SC 1297; 1982 CriLJ 1777 (SC)
143
(1989) 3 SCC 1; 1989 SCC (Cri) 486; AIR 1989 SC 1329; (1989) 2 Crimes 294
144
1984 Supp SCC 228; 1984 SCC (Cri) 478; AIR 1984 SC 237; 1984 CriLJ 168 (SC)

55
prison for almost 10 years, but the Supreme Court chose not to release him itself because
neither his antecedents nor the background of his family are before us. It is difficult for us to
gauge how the juvenile court would have dealt with him.
Conclusion
The response to juvenile crime has to be fair, age-appropriate and reflective of an understanding
of developmental psychology. Any amendment to existing law requires in-depth understanding
of the jurisprudence, philosophy and impact of the current law. It needs to be facilitated through
intense and participatory consultative processes that first build consensus on key policy
questions. In the absence of empirical and evidence-based studies, altering the position with
respect to age of a juvenile, that is well entrenched in international human rights law as well as
our domestic legal framework, will be an inappropriate and regressive response. Amending the
JJ Act, as a reaction to the countrywide outrage against one juvenile will set a dangerous trend
and may affect hundreds of adolescents who are currently entitled to the juvenile focused
reform and rehabilitative services envisioned in the law that is currently in force. It will also
violate the legal obligations arising from the Constitution, the recommendations of the Justice
J. S. Verma Committee, and the universal standards enshrined in the UN Convention on the
Rights of the Child. The nation needs to re-dedicate itself to investing in such juveniles, to
reform and rehabilitate them into the community with dignity. A number of countries around
the world are moving away from policies of deterrence to that of restorative and reformative
justice. India has a fairly progressive law grounded in universally recognized principles and
approaches. The way forward should therefore be to demonstrate that the
reformative/rehabilitative/ model does work, and that as a country with one of the best
constitutions in the world, and a wealth of healing traditions, we have the vision, the will and
the heart to prove it. Our children, our victims of juvenile crime and our society deserve no
less.

Bibliography

Internet

56
www.childlineindia.org
www.shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in
www.jjb.bih.nic.in
https://www.nls.ac.in/ccl/justicetochildren/intl
www.jiacam.org/0103/Jiacam
www.medind.nic.in
www.prsindia.org
www.chillabour.nic.in
www.legalservicesindia.com
www.jjlp.law.ucdavis.edu
www.nhrc.nic
www.unicef.org
www.ncrb.nic.in
www.un.org
www.ncjrs.gov.in

Books, Reports & Articles

J.P.S. Sirohi, Criminology and Penology, Allahabad Law Agency, 2008, pp.399-402
President's Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice, Task
Force Report Juvenile Delinquency (1967) pp.7-9
S.P. Srivastva, Juvenile Justice In India; Policy, Programme and Perspective,(1989),
Ajanta Publications (India), Delhi,pp.160-162
K. S. Shukla, Role of the Police in Juvenile Justice, op. cit. , pp. 169-70
Robert Portune, Changing Adolescent Attitude toward Police (Cincinnati W.H.
Anderson Company (1971)
Kratcoski P.C. and Dractcoski. L.D., Juvenile Delinquency, 1979

Fourth Report of the National Police Commission, June 1980, p.40


Government of India, Second Report of the National Police Commission

K.S. Shukla and P.D. Malviya, Juvenile Aid Police Units, Police Research and
Development, Quarter III & IV,1972, p.17
Ruth Shonle Cavan Theodore N. Ferdinand IV Edition p. 341

Hirach. N. Dynamic cause of Juvenile crime p. 239

57
M.J. Sethna Society and The Criminal (5th Edition) p. 292

Shipra Lavania, 'Juvenile Delinquency',(1983) Pub. by Rawat Publications, Jaipur,


p.19-20
Annual Report of Childrens Aid society Bombay (1960-61) pp. 33-34
K. Kusum, 'Juvenile Delinquency- A Socio-legal Study'(1979) Published by KLM
Book House, New Delhi, p 15
Ferguson (1952), the young Delinquency in his social settings London Oxford
University press pp. 11-32.
Srivastava, S.S. Juvenile Vagarancy: A Socio-Ecological Study of juveniles Vagarents:
Asia Publication House 1963
Bhakhry, Savita: Children in India and their rights. (National Human Rights
Commission, New Delhi, 2006) (NHRC)
Methews, Susen: A report of the National Consultations on Juvenile Justice Centre for
Child and Law and its partners. (National Law School of India University, Bangalore,
1999)
Mukherjee, Satyanshu Kumar: Administration of juvenile correctional institutions
(Sterling Publishers Private Limited, Delhi, 1974)
NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION, NEW DELHI: National Conference
on Juvenile Justice System in India. (National Human Rights Commission, New Delhi,
2007) (NHRC)
NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION, NEW DELHI: Workshop on
detention. (National Human Rights Commission, New Delhi, 2008)
NATIONAL REPORT on A world fit for children. (India, Ministry of Women and
Child Development, 2007) Available at:
www.unicef.org/worldfitforchildren/files/India_WFFC5_Report
Choudhary, R N: Law relating of juvenile justice in India. (Orient Publishing Company,
Allahabad, 2005) (NHRC)

58