Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 was passed by the Parliament of India amidst intense controversy, debate, and protest on many of its provisions by Child Rights fraternity. It replaced the Indian juvenile delinquency law, Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000, and allows for juveniles in conflict with Law in the age group of 16–18, involved in Heinous Offences, to be tried as adults.
The Bill defines ‘heinous offences’ as those “for which the minimum punishment under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) or any other law for the time being in force is imprisonment for seven years or more.” The NDPS Act has several sections where the punishment is between 10 to 20 years in certain cases.
In all such cases, the Juvenile Justice Board can now refer a juvenile to a children’s court after a preliminary assessment. The children’s court, which is a sessions court, can then determine whether to subject him to the adult judicial system.
The criteria when a juvenile can be tried as adults under certain circumstances are
1) Whether the child has the mental and physical capacity to commit such an offence
2) Whether the child has the ability to understand its consequences
3) The circumstances in which the offence was committed.
Juveniles possess and consume drug and then indulge in criminal activities like assault, murder, rape, robbery, or any other crime. The punishment is of two types, one is sentencing and the other one is treatment. Detention can involve home confinement, placement with a foster family or guardian placement with juvenile home or placement in the detention centre. If the juvenile repeats the offence or in case of serious offence the punishment is imprisonment between three to seven years.
The drug-related offenses are considered as victimless crime. The Juvenile Justice Board handles juvenile case in very different. The courts have much wider range of options when dealing with juvenile offenders such as drug counselling, probation, diversion, detention. The court focuses on rehabilitation of young one.
Hope this helps you.