Juvenile Justice Boards

Juvenile Justice Boards

There shall be one or more Juvenile Justice Boards in every district, which shall be constituted by the State Government as per section 4 of the Act. The appointment of Members in the Juvenile Justice Board shall be on the recommendation of Juvenile Justice Selection Committee, set up by the State Government, for the purpose under rule 91.

Composition of the Juvenile Justice Board:―

(1) The Board shall consist of a Metropolitan Magistrate or a Judicial Magistrate of the first class, as the case may be, and two social workers of whom at least one shall be a woman, forming a bench:
Provided that the Principal Magistrate of the Board shall review the pendency of cases before the Board and take such steps, as may be necessary in the expeditious disposal of the cases.
(2) Every such bench shall have the powers conferred by the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973 (2 of 1974).
(3) (i) A Magistrate with special knowledge or training in child psychology or child welfare shall be designated as the Principal Magistrate of the Board.
(ii) In case the Principal Magistrate with such special knowledge or training is not available, then, the State Government shall provide for such short-term training in child psychology or child welfare as it considers necessary.
(4) The two social workers, of whom at least one shall be a woman, shall be appointed by the State Government on the recommendation of the Juvenile Justice Selection Committee set up under rule 91 of these rules.
(5) The State Government shall provide for such training and orientation in child psychology, child welfare, child rights, national and international standards for juvenile justice to all members of the Board as it considers necessary, in accordance with the Integrated Child Protection Scheme of the Central Government.

Tenure of the Board:―

(1) The Board shall have a tenure of three years and the appointment of members shall be co-terminus with the tenure of the Board.
(2) A social worker being a member of the Board shall be eligible for appointment for a maximum of two consecutive terms.
(3) Any extension of the tenure of members of the Board shall be on the basis of their performance appraisal by the District Child Protection Unit of the State Government and on the recommendation of a Juvenile Justice Selection Committee constituted for the purpose and the performance appraisal of members of the Board shall necessarily assess their participation in the proceedings of the Board and contribution in case disposal.
(4) A member may resign any time, by giving one month's advance notice in writing or may be removed from his office as provided in sub-section (5) of section 4 of the Act.
(5) Any vacancy in the Board may be filled by appointment of another person from the panel of names prepared by the Juvenile Justice Selection Committee, and shall hold office for the remaining term of the Board.

Qualifications for Members of the Board:―

(1) The social worker to be appointed as a member of the Board shall be a person not less than 35 years of age, who has a post-graduate degree in social work, health, education, psychology, child development or any other social science discipline and has been actively involved and engaged in planning, implementing and administering measures relating to child welfare for at least seven years.
(2) No person shall be considered for selection as a Member of the Board, if he, -
(a) has been convicted under any law;
(b) have ever indulged in child abuse or employment of child labour or any other human rights violations or immoral act;
(c) is holding such other occupation that does not allow him to give necessary time and attention to the work of the Board;
(d) does not fulfill the qualification and experience prescribed in the Act and the rules made there under and in such a case the Juvenile Justice Selection Committee shall after due inquiry and on establishment of such fact, reject his application and recommend the name of the next person from the list of
names prepared for filling the vacancies.

Sitting and conveyance allowances:―

The social worker members of the Board shall be paid such travel and sitting allowance, as the State Government may determine, but it shall not be less than rupees five hundred per sitting.

Sittings of the Board:―

(1) The Board shall hold its sittings in the premises of an Observation Home or, at a place in proximity to the observation home or, at a suitable premise in any institution run under the Act, and in no circumstances shall the Board operate from within any court premises.
(2) The premises where the Board holds its sittings shall be child-friendly and shall not look like a court room in any manner whatsoever; for example, the Board shall not sit on a raised platform and the sitting arrangement shall be uniform, and there shall be no witness boxes.
(3) The Board shall meet on all working days of a week, unless the case pendency is less in a particular district and concerned authority issues an order in this regard.
(4) A minimum of three-fourth attendance of the Chairperson and Members of the Board is necessary in a year.
(5) Every member of the Board shall attend a minimum of five hours per sitting.

Functions of the Board:―
The Board shall perform the following functions to achieve the objectives of the Act, namely:-
(a) adjudicate and dispose cases of juveniles in conflict with law;
(b) take cognizance of crimes committed under section 23 to 28 of the Act;
(c) monitoring institutions for juveniles in conflict with law and seeking compliance from them in cases of any noticeable lapses and improvement based on suggestions of the Board;
(d) deal with non-compliance on the part of concerned government functionaries or functionaries of voluntary organizations, as the case may be, in accordance with due process of law;
(e) pass necessary direction to the district authority and police to create or provide necessary infrastructure or facilities so that minimum standards of justice and treatment are maintained in the spirit of the Act;
(f) maintain liaison with the Committee in respect of cases needing care and protection;
(g) liaison with Boards in other districts to facilitate speedy inquiry and disposal of cases through due process of law;
(h) take suitable action for dealing with unforeseen situations that may arise in the implementation of the Act and remove such difficulties in the best interest of the juvenile;
(i) send quarterly information about juveniles in conflict with law produced before them, to the District, State Child Protection Unit, the State Government and also to the Chief Judicial Magistrate or Chief Metropolitan Magistrate for review under sub-section (2) of section 14 of the Act;
(j) any other function assigned by the State Government from time to time relating with juveniles in conflict with law.

Termination or Suspension-

In the event of any complaint against a Chairman or Member of the Committee, the Juvenile Justice Selection Committee Constituted under Rule 91 of 2007 shall hold necessary inquiry and recommend termination of appointment of such member to the State Government, if required.