Role of juvenile justice in India


A Latin maxim that suits best for the Juvenile Justice system in India is ‘Nil Novi Spectrum’ which implies that nothing is new on this earth. There has existed a presumption in the whole world since the ancient period that the Juveniles should be dealt leniently because there exists a system of thought that says– Young folks generally have a habit to respond in a serious and prolonged frustration which is accompanied with aggressive approaches. A juvenile is a child or young person who is not yet old enough to be regarded as an adult. Juvenile activity or behaviour involves young people who are not yet adults. Juvenile Delinquency is the involvement of a kid who is between the age of 10 and 17 in illegal activity or behaviour. Juvenile crime is increasing at a terrifying rate.
Once former Chief Justice of India, Justice V.K. Krishna Iyer stated that we need penal code because the child is the father of a man and if we’re neglecting the underdevelopment in children, then we would be guilty of many faults and errors related to abandoning our children.
The frightful incident of “Nirbhaya Delhi Gang Rape Case”[1], on December 16, 2012 shocked the whole nation and many debates were started among legal fraternity and socialists. The main reason and issue of the debate was the involvement of accused, who was just six months short to attain the age of 18 years. The involvement of the accused in such a heinous crime of rape forced the Indian Legislation to introduce a new law and thus, Indian Parliament came up with a new law which is known as “ Juvenile Justice ( Care and Protection), 2015. The Introduction of the Act has replaced the existing juvenile laws and has introduced some remarkable changes. One of the remarkable changes is juvenile under the age group of 16 to 18 years should be tried as an adult.
The juvenile justice system, as a process, involves four stages: intake, adjudication, disposition, and post adjudication review.
Intake- Once a young person is referred, intake workers at the juvenile court or probation agency or attorneys in the prosecutor’s office determine whether the case should be formally processed in juvenile court, handled informally (diverted from court) or dismissed.
Adjudication- In this phase, the young person may be adjudicated delinquent, roughly equivalent to being found guilty in criminal court. Alternatively, the youth may be found innocent or the charges may be dismissed.
Disposition- After a youth is adjudicated delinquent, the next step is a dispositional hearing, which is like a sentencing hearing in adult court. Typically, prior to this hearing, a probation officer examines the case, interviews the young person and develops a recommended intervention plan.
Post adjudication- The process may be a period of aftercare, where the young person is supervised and supported during the transition back to the community.

Some of the reasons that are most common for a minor to turn to juvenile delinquency include: School Problems, Economic Problems, Physical Abuse At Home, Lack Of Adult Interaction, Peer Pressure – Neighborhood Influence.

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