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Tag: juvenile justice act

Firstpost special report: How child labour has come to define crimes against children

From 2010 to 2015, crimes against children saw a steep rise from 26,694 cases to 94,172 cases — an increase of 252 percent. This is a statistic that should be a cause for much alarm and indignation. Of course, these are nationwide numbers and they need to be disaggregated for them to make more sense. But it is a question worth asking as to why crimes committed against children rarely evoke the kind of vehement public responses as crimes committed by children do.

Children are particularly vulnerable to exploitation for many reasons, including their dependence on adults, their lack of knowledge of their own rights and a relative lack of access to institutions which can support them. Child labour is just one example of a widely prevalent practice of crimes against children — in which all these three factors contribute.


Illustration by Satwik Gade for Firstpost.

P*, who presently lives in a children’s home run by Prayas JAC Society, is a case on how children can be particularly vulnerable. The 10-year boy is from Bihar, and comes from an extremely backward caste. In an extreme case of exploitation, although the boy worked for three years in all, his father got merely Rs 10,000 in exchange for this work. P worked in particularly dangerous conditions — in a bangle-making factory in Delhi. However, the alternative for him is not a promising one either — his father works as a farmer with a very meagre income, and the family had consented to him going to Delhi for work.

Indeed, a large number of cases of child labour in Delhi are characterised by dangerous work conditions or work hours that are not practically possible to monitor. For example, bangle-making is extremely risky work. As noted by a Unicef report, it involves joining the ends of a bangle over a kerosene flame, using fast-moving blades and using chemicals for decoration. Some cases of child labour involve kids working as full-time domestic helpers at homes along with their families.

In such cases, it is difficult to monitor working hours and the effect that such work on the child’s education.

Read the rest of the story here

*Names changed

First Published On : Nov 17, 2016 09:20 IST

‘Juvenile’ in Delhi hit-and-run case shouldn’t get away on a technicality: Victim’s father

Although the juvenile in the Delhi hit-and-run case has been let off on bail, there may be much trouble in store for him. The new Juvenile Justice Act, 2015, which allows for the possibility of minors between the ages of 16 and 18 years to be tried as adults, means that he could face a prison sentence in the case.

The family of the victim, 32-year old Sidharth Sharma, has demanded that the juvenile should not ‘get away on a technicality’, NDTV has reported. The minor was just days away from turning 18 years old when the incident took place on 4 April, and attained majority on Friday.

Sidharth’s sister has said that if the law could not do it (try him as an adult), the Supreme Court should intervene and if the apex can’t do so, ‘the people should come on the road and demand justice,’ as per the NDTV report.

The case has evoked reactions similar, although not on the same scale as after the 16 December gangrape in Delhi. In that case, the juvenile was six months short of 18 years on the date of the crime. The incident had led to a nationwide furore that led, at least in part, to the passing of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015.

Representational image. AFPRepresentational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

While such instances of minors marginally short of adulthood involved in crime have evoked outrage, there is a flip side as well. Hidden from public view, and largely outside the media spotlight, a large number of juveniles are lodged in prisons across the country. This is despite the fact that the law mandates that the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) needs to conduct regular inspections of jails for adults to check if any children are lodged in them.

As per an AFP report, as many as 2,900 juveniles were found to have been lodged in prisons by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights in the year 2014. The report quotes a minor who was put in prison as saying that no prison official bothered to check his age, the magistrate also did not ask him anything, and so he did not get a chance to explain himself.

The minor offender also may have got the benefit of legislative inaction, as a proposed road transport and safety bill has not yet been passed by the union government. The bill proposes stringent penalties which get more severe according to the seriousness of the offence. Among other provisions, it stipulates a Rs one-lakh fine and a minimum of four years in jail for overspeeding, as per a report in Hindustan Times. This, of course, would only come into question in the Delhi hit-and-run case if the Juvenile Justice Board decides that the minor should be tried as an adult.

The incident took place on 4 April when 32-year-old marketing executive Siddharth was trying to cross a road near Ludlow Castle School and the speeding Mercedes hit him.

A case under IPC sections 304 A (causing death by rash or negligent act), 279 (driving on a public way so rashly or negligently as to endanger human life) and 337 (causing hurt by an act which endangers human life) was lodged.

“During the later stage of the investigation, the charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, which is cognisable and non-bailable in nature, was slapped,” a senior police official said.

With inputs from PTI

17-year old held for murder could be first juvenile to be tried as adult under new law

New Delhi: A 17-year-old boy, apprehended for strangulating an elderly woman two months after he was released from a correction home, could be the first juvenile to be tried as an adult under a new law passed by Parliament in December.

The Delhi Police has urged the Juvenile Justice Board to treat the boy as an adult as he allegedly murdered the woman just five months after kidnapping and killing a 13-year-old boy for which he was sent to the correction home.

The boy was released from the juvenile home in December last year for his “good behaviour” after his parents applied for bail, saying he had to appear for Class X exams. He was apprehended again on Thursday on the charge of killing the woman at South Delhi’s B K Gupta Colony.

If the Juvenile Justice Board accepts the recommendation of the Delhi Police, then the boy will be the first to be tried under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act.

Representational image. Image courtesy: ibnliveRepresentational image. Image courtesy: ibnlive

Representational image. Image courtesy: ibnlive

The new legislation was cleared by the Parliament on 22 December. It was passed after a prolonged debate on whether juveniles involved in heinous crimes should be tried as adults.

The demand for the new law had grown following release of the juvenile offender in the 16 December, 2012 gangrape case.

“We have submitted a written application to the Juvenile Justice Board, urging them to treat the juvenile, who is around 17 years and 11 months old, like an adult. This teenager could be the first to be tried under the amended Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act,” a senior police official said on Friday.

The juvenile was apprehended from his residence in Faridabad yesterday for allegedly strangulating to death a 65-year-old woman, and then robbing her of cash, jewellery and other expensive articles, at her residence in south Delhi’s BK Dutt colony.

In September 2015, The juvenile, along with his girlfriend, had allegedly abducted and murdered a 13-year- old boy for money which he needed for participating in a popular reality dance show, police said.

After being released from a correction home around two months ago, he targeted the elderly woman, identified as Mithilesh Jain, a widow.

The woman was found dead on Monday by her son-in-law but the police had then claimed that it was a case of natural death. Things took a turn when Jain’s relatives informed police that some jewellery, cash and expensive items, including two mobile phones, were missing from her residence.

Meanwhile, the post-mortem report also suggested that she was strangulated, following which police registered a case at Lodhi Colony police station.