Any civilization’s growth is dependent on its children because they are the future of the nations and need to be protected at all costs and are the first step towards maintaining real peace. On the other hand, juvenile delinquents have existed since the dawn of human civilization. Throughout history, it has been decided to treat the cause rather than the symptoms, that is, to assist juvenile delinquents through restorative processes rather than penalizing them. In general, “children” are persons under the age group of 18 who are yet to develop to acquire the knowledge of right and wrong. Most countries’ penal codes currently follow the idea of ‘doli in Capex,‘ that is understanding that the conduct that is undertaken is a heinous offense. Furthermore, minors aged from 11 to 12 years could get sentenced under the Penal code if the offense they committed is terrible. Furthermore, the information they gained is sufficient for understanding to comprehend the implications of their actions. In the juvenile justice system and mental health, the problem that arises is: The juvenile justice system formally engages more than 2 million children and teens each year. It is estimated that 66-71% of adolescents, youths, and young adults have at least one mental health issue and need to resolve it, and 21-27% have serious emotional difficulties. In the Juvenile Justice System, more than 67.33% of the youth have mental health issues, most of whom can be effectively, efficiently placed under observation, and reliably treated outside of juvenile detention.
ISSUE OF JUVENILE DELINQUENCY
The basic nature of children at an early stage is difficult to determine as there are numerous behavioral patterns shown by them due to changes in circumstances or situations that can eventually lead to subsequent delinquent behavior. Some of the causes are enlisted below:-
Adolescent Issues: Behavioral, biological, and sociocultural factors all have a strong influence on adolescent behavior patterns. At this tender age, teenagers become more mindful and observant of their appearances, looks, color, and styles, as well as their enjoyment, food, leisure time, and play. At this age, adolescents seek freedom and independence and want to explore new things, but are not provided with chance or opportunities by their parents, teachers, or elders, which contributes to the overall development of introverted conduct. The distinction of the Family System: Distinction of the families and laxity of parental authority are some major causes of rising adolescent delinquency graphs. Divorce, a lack of parental authority, and a loss of love and care from parents are major causes of juvenile misbehavior. Migration: Destitute and abandoned adolescents gravitate to slums, where they are exposed to antisocial people involved in unlawful activities such as prostitution and drug smuggling. They may also take part in such activities. Indulgence in sex – Children who have been subjected to sexual assaults or other unwanted physical assaults as children may acquire disgusting behavior and mentalities. They may become more vagrants or more interested in sex during this period. Too much sex variation and hormonal imbalance may encourage boys to commit crimes such as kidnapping and rape.
Modern Life Style and living: Children and teenagers are having difficulty adapting to today’s fast-changing societal patterns, cultures, and lifestyles. They are confronted with cultural issues and are unable to distinguish between good and wrong. Economic status and Poverty conditions: As a result of poverty and terrible economic situations, parents and guardians are unable to meet the basic requirements of their children, while youngsters’ demand to fulfill their wishes should be met at all costs which prompt them to steal money from homes or committing such penial crimes. As a result, there is a regular tendency to steal, which leads to widespread thievery.
ANALYSIS OF JUDICIAL INTERVENTION
Section 2 of The Juvenile (Care and Protection) Act, 2015 defines a child as a person under the age of eighteen. The Act divides the term “kid” into two categories: – “Conflict between a youngster and the law,” as well as “Care and protection for a needy child.” Children who commit an offense while under the age of 18 on the day of the offense violate the law. “Child in need of care and protection” in this subcategory refers to a juvenile as per Section 14 of the Act. Further, the apparent increase of juvenile crime cases in recent years, also the encounter of the most horrifying “Delhi Gang Rape Case,” has urged lawmakers to pass legislation on this matter as soon as possible. In addition to a lack of legal provisions, India’s dysfunctional juvenile system hampered efforts to curb adolescent crime but the act suspended it. In KulaiIbrahim v. the State of Coimbatore, the Court has proposed that under Section 9 of the act the offender has the right to raise the issue of juvenility at the time during the trial or even after the case has been decided. Also, the court concluded in Deoki Nandan Dayma v. State of Uttar Pradesh that registration in the school register stated a student’s date of birth to identify the age of a juvenile or to indicate if the accused is a child, is acceptable evidence.
ROLE OF THE JUVENILE SYSTEM
The framework in the Indian Legal System for resolving juvenile justice issues is defined as Juvenile Justice. India, like the other countries, has enacted legislation that primarily and especially addresses the rights and protection of juvenile offenders. This curriculum is concerned with juvenile delinquency. Indian Juvenile Justice System is guided by three principles: Instead of putting juvenile criminals on trial, they should be corrected in every way possible. It is not proper to penalize them, but rather to provide them the opportunity to change their ways. If a child violates the law, the trial should be conducted through non-punitive community measures, such as detention centers homes , and care homes. The Juvenile Justice Act, of 2015 was enacted to amend the Juvenile Justice Act, of2000. This is due to the demand for a more robust and efficient justice mechanism that would focus on deterrence and enhancive techniques.
The police are known as the gatekeepers in the Juvenile Justice System. This means they have the authority to make initial choices on how the case will be dealt similar to first aid provided initially by the doctors. Although there is a lot of leeway as gatekeepers. There is a considerable level of shame linked with the activities committed, which is owing to the large number of acts conducted. When the police obtain information, some amendments specify that children need to be placed in special care centers rather than jails and lockups; thereafter situation should be handled by a Child welfare officer appointed by the government that will subsequently report to the department of Juvenile board. Just in rare cases, a police officer may issue bail to the minor based on preliminary facts and circumstances. A child welfare officer is appointed because numerous studies have found that interactions between policemen and children are frequently defined in terms of tension, aghast, commotion, and so on. Policemen can be hectoring and inflexible at times, which leads to the formation of bad perceptions and it can lead to a lack of trust in the authorities and a state of fear among them. Aggressive, nasty, aggressive, and uncooperative behavior on both sides constitutes a squabble in and of itself.
As we know, Juvenile delinquency should be addressed as a grave offence as it has significant effects on the social order also the rising rate of youth crime in India is a serious worry that must be addressed as soon as feasible. Even though the government has implemented many laws and guidelines to prevent juvenile crime, the current child protection laws have no deterrent effect on young people, which is why the results are ineffective and the legislative objective is not yet met. The juvenile protection Act of 2016 is clearly under progress for betterment as it can be viewed that a significant change in the Nirbhaya judgment was a prominent step by changing the legislation under the Criminal Laws Act, 2013 for delivering justice to the victim, by stating that no laxity shall be provided to the offender claiming juvenility. So, it’s the need of the hour to take stringent actions regarding the same to overcome the problem of delinquency.
Author(s) Name: Aratrika Manhas (Bharati Vidyapeeth New Law College, Pune)
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