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Updated: Sep 5, 2022


The term Juvenile' means “child" and Delinquent means "criminal". Juvenile delinquent means "Child criminal or crime committed by a child". A juvenile delinquent is a young offender between 15 years and 17 years of age. Juvenile delinquency is a serious social evil since it is a gateway to adult crime. The present Act entitled "the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000" is progressive legislation for the reformation of delinquent children. It aims to provide for care and protection, treatment, development and rehabilitation of neglected and delinquent children. The main object of the Act is to achieve a uniform legal framework for juvenile justice throughout the country.

This Lecture covers:

1. The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 and

2. Juvenile Delinquency. The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000

The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000

The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 (hereinafter called the Act) was passed by the Indian Parliament with a view to consolidate and amend the law relating to juveniles in conflict with law and children in need of care and protection. It aims to provide for proper care, protection and treatment by catering to their development needs, and by adopting a child-friendly approach in the adjudication and deposition of matters in the best interest of children and for their ultimate rehabilitation through various institutions established under this Act. With the passing of the Juvenile Justice Act, 1986 (53 of I986) is repealed.

The Act extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir. It is a progressive legislation for the protection and welfare of delinquent children.


Chapter-l containing Sections 1 to 3 deals with preliminary aspects viz. short title, extent and commencement, definitions etc.

Chapter-II containing Sections 4 to 28 relates to Juvenile in conflict with Law. It (Chapter II) deals with Juvenile Justice Boards Observation Homes, Special homes, Juveniles.

Chapter-III containing Sections 29 to 39 lays down the provisions relating to Child in need of Care and Protection'. It deals with Child Welfare Committee, Children's homes etc.

Chapter-IV containing Sections 40 to 45 deals with 'Rehabilitation and Social Reintegration'. Chapter-IV covers process of rehabilitation and social reintegration, Adoption, Foster care etc., and

· Chapter-V of Act containing Sections 46 to 70 deals with miscellaneous provisions.

Objects:- The Act aims to achieve the following objects: To lay down a uniform institutional and legal framework for juvenile justice throughout the territory of India; To lay down norms and standards for the administration of juvenile justice in respect of care, treatment and rehabilitations; To provide for specialized approach towards the prevention and treatment of juvenile delinquency; To constitute special offences in relation to juveniles and provide for punishments therefor; and To bring about the operation of the Juvenile Justice System in the country on the lines of the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice, 1955


Juveniles or Children are the pillars of the progressive nation. They may be described as the "crystallised energy stored reservoirs of the country". Juvenile Delinquency -

Meaning:- The term Juvenile' means "Child" and 'Delinquent' means "Criminal".Juvenile Delinquency means "Crime committed by a child or child criminal". It means deviant child behaviour, which includes wrong doing, disorderly conduct, malicious mischief, growing up in idleness, wandering in streets etc. Smoking and drinking by children also come within the purview of juvenile delinquency. Juvenile delinquency is a gateway of adult crime. A large percentage of criminal careers have their roots in the childhood.

Definition:-It is very difficult to define Juvenile Delinqueney. The reason is crime is a varying concept as it changes from place to place and from time to time. Various statutes defined juvenile delinquency in different terms. A few of them are given below:

The Legal Definition of Juvenile Delinquency is "any act prohibited by law for children upto a prescribed age limit".

According to the Juvenile Justice Act, 1986 a 'delinquent juvenile" means "a juvenile who has been found to have committed an offence" [Section 2(e)]. It further defines that 'juvenile' means a boy, who has not attained the age of eighteen years [Section 2(h)].

There are various causes of juvenile delinquency. Notable among them are stated here under:

1. Broken home/family.

2. Poverty.

3. Bad Companionship.

4. Early Physical Maturity; and

5. Lack of proper education.

1. Broke Home/Family:- The home is the cradle of huge personality. Every person from the moment of birth is deeply influenced by the people around him. Whatever is learnt in the family has strong influence in the mind of the child and the juvenile interprets the human relationship accordingly. Family is a compact unit wherein harmonization and culturization take place with love and affection and wvith inter- personal relationship. The alcoholic or drug addict father or immoral mother or divorced family facilitates the propensities of juvenile delinquency. Therefore, the broken home has serious impact in the mind of the juvenile on the emotional and socio-economic relationship.

2. Poverty:-Poverty is one of the main reasons for the causation Vaime and delinquency. In the words of S.C. Verma in his "The Young Delinquents", (P.36)- It seems that poverty operates as a cause of crime through its Social accompaniments'. These accompaniments are:

1. segregation in slum areas where people are isolated from anti-delinquency patterns and are compelled into association with criminal behaviour patterns;

2. low social status, with little or no stakes;

3. inadequate housing conditions and poor health;

4. child's premature withdrawal from school with compulsion to take up unrewarding. unskilled, street-trade occupations: and

5. worry, anxiety and insecurity and a sense of inadequacy and/ insignificance in parents, which deprives children of their love and affection".

3. Bad Companionship:-The companionship also has a vital role to play in the juvenile delinquency. A child's companionship and associations are patterned by his emotional, social and economic needs of security, recognition and material gain. They play an important role in delinquency.

4. Early Physical Maturity:- Early physical maturity. inducement by oversexed films, T.V., pornography, violence blended cinema, etc. The imbibed feelings about criminals through media are vital reasons for juvenile delinquency. Juveniles learn and imitate such characters of the story. The delinquent propensities form a sediment in the subconscious mind and ebbs up and put into action according to circumstances and environment.

5. Lack of Proper Education:- Lack of moral education in the schools and colleges etc., lack of practisers of the true preachings, lack of parental control at home and lack of teachers' control in the schools and colleges are also attributable factors for delinquency.

Juvenile delinquency and Adult Crime:-

Juvenile delinquency'

As stated earlier, Juvenile delinquency' means "a crime committed by a child". Any Act prohibited by law for children upto a prescribed age limit is called juvenile delinquency. As such, juvenile delinquent means a child criminal or a crime committed by a child.

The expression juvenile delinquent has not been defined in the Juvenile Justice and (Care Protection of Children) Act, 2000. However, Section 2(1) of the Act defines 'Juvenile in conflict with law' as "a juvenile, who is alleged to have committed an offence".

'Crime' or Adult Crime'

Whereas the term 'Crime' or Adult Crime' is a public wrong Blackstone defined 'Crime' as "an act or omission in violation of public law, forbidden or commanding it".Further, the word 'crime' is nowhere used in the criminal law (i.e. Substantive Criminal Law, the Indian Penal Code, 1860 or the Procedural Law of Crimes, the Code of

Criminal Procedure, 1973). However, the word 'Offence' is used instead of the word 'crime'. Section 40 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 defines the word 'Offence' as any act punishable under the Code". A person, who is guilty of an offence is called offender or criminal.

The Distinction Between Juvenile Delinquency and Adult Crime.



​1. It is an offence committed by a young person between 15 and 17 years of age.

2. No formal charge is framed in respect of juvenile delinquency.

3. It is tried in juvenile court.

4.It is heard/tried in private (private hearing). Only the persons concerned are allowed and nothing is allowed to be published.

5. Juvenile delinquents are not put to (sentenced to) severe punishments. Moreover, they are corrected and reformed.

​1. It is an offence committed by a person, who has completed 18 years of age or above.

2. It is Framing of charge is essential for fair trial.

3. It is tried in criminal court.

4. It is heard/tried in public (public hearing). All are allowed and the proceedings can be published.

5. Adult criminals are sentenced to severe punishments.

Preventive Measures:- Juvenile Delinquency is a serious social evil. In the interest of the individual in particular and the society in general, it must be eradicated by adopting the following measures:

1.The parents must take care of the children and should not give them an opportunity to associate with bad companions. They should teach morals and ethics to have an effective control over the children.

2. Ideal and model education system will eradicate delinquency among the children.

3. The Government must pass necessary legislation for the welfare of the children and child labour. There should not be any political interference in granting probation or parole.

4. Reformative schemes are to be encouraged rather than correction Through imprisonment.

5. The Government must take necessary steps to eradicate illiteracy by providing for free and compulsory education and must take necessary steps for eradication of poverty.


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