ANALYSIS OF THE JUVENILE JUSTICE (CARE AND PROTECTION OF CHILDREN) AMENDMENT BILL, 2018.

ANALYSIS OF THE JUVENILE JUSTICE (CARE AND PROTECTION OF CHILDREN) AMENDMENT BILL, 2018.

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AUTHORED BY: MS. RISHITHA.K, B.B.A.LL.B, 3RD YEAR STUDENT AT IFIM LAW COLLEGE & RESEARCH WRITER AT LAW AUDIENCE.

Justice requires that we work to restore those who have been injured. -Anonymous.

I. INTRODUCTION:

The above-mentioned quote can be found to reflect throughout the Juvenile Justice Act in India. One of the principles strengthening this Act is that every decision taken would be in the best interest of the child. This amendment bill is set out to achieve the very same. The bill seeks to transfer all the pending matters related to adoption before the Courts under this Act to the District Magistrate.

This bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha on 6th of August 2018 by the Ministry of Women & Child Development of Government of India headed by Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi. The bill is still pending before the house.

II. THE AMENDMENTS INTRODUCED IN THE BILL 2018:

(i) In Section 56, in sub-section (5) for the words “valid order from the Court”, the words “valid order from the District Magistrate” shall be substituted;

(ii) In Section 58,

(a) In sub-section (3), for the words “in the court”, the words “before the District Magistrate” shall be substituted;

(b) In sub-section (4), for the words “the receipt of a certified copy of the

Court order”, the words “receipt of the certified copy of the order passed by the District Magistrate” shall be substituted;

(iii) In Section 59,

(a) In sub-section (7), for the words “in the court”, the words “before the

District Magistrate” shall be substituted;

(b) In sub-section (8), for the words “the receipt of a certified copy of the

Court order”, the words “receipt of the certified copy of the order passed by the District Magistrate” shall be substituted;

(iv) In Section 60, in sub-section (1), for the words “an order from the

Court”, the words “an order from the District Magistrate” shall be substituted;

(v) In Section 61,

(a) For the marginal heading, the following marginal heading shall be

Substituted, namely:

“Procedure for disposal of adoption proceedings.”

(b) In sub-section (1), for the words “the court shall satisfy itself that”, the words “the District Magistrate shall satisfy that” shall be substituted;

(c) In sub-section (2), for the words “and the case shall be disposed of by the court”, the words “and the proceeding shall be disposed of by the District Magistrate” shall be substituted;

(vi) In section 63, for the words “issued by the court”, the words “issued by the

District Magistrate” shall be substituted;

(vii) In section 64, for the words “concerned courts”, the words “District

Magistrates” shall be substituted;

(viii) In section 65 in sub-section (4), for the words “order from the court”, the words “order from the District Magistrate” shall be substituted.

(ix) In Chapter III  Miscellaneous

All the proceedings pending before any court for adjudication under Chapter VIII of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, before the commencement of this Act, shall stand transferred to the District Magistrate having jurisdiction over the area to entertain such proceedings.

III. OBJECTIVES EXPECTED TO BE ACHIEVED BY THE BILL:

Every parent who is interested to adopt a child needs to obtain a non-objection order from the Court, in order to validate their adoption. By doing so the adopted child gets to stay with the adoptive parents and also gets a status to that of a biological child.

It has been reported that there about 629 cases related to adoption pending before the Courts. Owing to the workload of the Courts, it’s difficult to adjudicate these cases. Due to delay in rendering justice the children are made to spend more time in the juvenile homes. Hence, in order to put a full stop on those issues, the legislature has come up with an appreciable alternative of speeding up the whole procedure by transferring the adoption matters to the District Magistrates.

IV. A BILL FOR THE “BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD”:

The bill has been introduced visualising a better life for the child. Thus, the minute issue was identified and a suitable remedy was devised. Every provision which states the word ‘Court’ is carefully identified and replaced with the word ‘District Magistrate’

V. CRITICISM TO THE BILL:

  • Might over-burden the District Magistrate.

The District Magistrate has a list of administrative duties to be discharged and all of them are indispensable. Giving an additional responsibility of giving orders for adoption matter would indeed pressurise the District Magistrate.

  • Whether the District Magistrate is competent enough to handle judicial issues?

The District Magistrate is highly competent to discharge the executive powers but is he competent enough to handle a situation where there is a requirement of judicial training is a question to which nobody knows an answer.

One of the major concerns is that ‘Whether this move of the Legislature might bring conflict in the discharge of the duties of the District Magistrate?’ and “whether the District Magistrate will be able to hear the matters with the same efficiency of that of the Hon’ble Court?”

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