Government issues draft Juvenile Justice Rules 2021

‘No FIR shall be filed against children involved in petty offences’
Government issues draft Juvenile Justice Rules 2021
The social welfare department plans to issue rules namely Jammu and Kashmir Juvenile Justice Rules, 2021 under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2016 for overall care and protection of children in the Union Territory of J&K.File/ GK

Srinagar: The draft Juvenile Justice Rules 2021 released by J&K government say that no First Information Report (FIR) shall be filed against the children involved in petty offences.

“No FIR shall be registered except where a heinous offence is alleged to have been committed by the child, or when such offence is alleged to have been committed jointly with adults,” reads the note of the draft Juvenile Justice Rules 2021 which has been put in public domain for seeking feedback, suggestions from stakeholders.

“In all other matters, the Special Juvenile Police unit or the Child Welfare police officer shall record the information regarding the offence alleged to have been committed by the child in the general daily diary followed by a social background report of the child and circumstances under which the child was apprehended, wherever applicable, and forward it to the Board before the first hearing, provided that the power to apprehend shall only be exercised with regard to heinous offences, unless it is in the best interest of the child,” it reads.

For all other cases involving petty and serious offences and cases where apprehending the child is not necessary in the interest of the child, the police or Special Juvenile Police Unit or Child Welfare police officer shall forward the information regarding the nature of offence alleged to be committed by the child along with his social background report to the Board and intimate the parents or guardian of the child as to when the child is to be produced for hearing before the Board, it says.

The social welfare department plans to issue rules namely Jammu and Kashmir Juvenile Justice Rules, 2021 under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2016 for overall care and protection of children in the Union Territory of J&K.

However, before finalizing the rules, the department hereby invites all the public authorities/stakeholders/ philanthropists/NGOs/ individuals closely connected with children protection regimes before September 25.

The draft rules further state that police officers apprehending a child alleged to be in conflict with law shall not send the child to a police lock-up and not delay the child being transferred to the Child Welfare Police Officer from the nearest police station.

"The police officer shall not hand-cuff, chain or otherwise fetter a child and shall not use any coercion or force on the child; inform the child promptly and directly of the charges levelled against him through his parent or guardian and if a First Information Report is registered, copy of the same shall be made available to the child or copy of the police report shall be given to the parent or guardian."

"Police Officer shall provide appropriate medical assistance, assistance of interpreter or a special educator, or any other assistance which the child may require, as the case may be; not compel the child to confess his guilt and he shall be interviewed only at the Special Juvenile Police Unit or at a child-friendly premises or at a child friendly corner in the police station, which does not give the feel of a police station or of being under custodial interrogation."

"The parent or guardian may be present during the interview of the child by the police; not ask the child to sign any statement; and inform the District Legal Services Authority for providing free legal aid to the child. The Child Welfare Police Officer shall be in plain clothes and not in uniform," draft rules read.

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