The Union Cabinet on Wednesday, February 17, approved the proposal for bringing amendments to the Juvenile Justice Care and Child Protection Act, 2015. The amendments will empower the District Magistrate (DM) and Additional District Magistrate (ADM) under Section 61 of the Act to issue adoption orders.
The DMs, ADMs will monitor the functioning of agencies responsible for implementing the Act in every district. The DMs will also be able to independently analyse and evaluate the Child Welfare Committee, Specialised Juvenile Police Unit.
Addressing a press conference, Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Zubin Irani said that the proposal was approved by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
It is also said that the district child protection units will be under the jurisdiction of the District Magistrates. Besides, the child care institutes will be approved for registration after the background checks by the magistrates.
The amendments stated that crimes committed by children, for which the minimum sentence is less than seven years, will now be categorised as 'serious' instead of 'heinous' offences. Presently, the Act has three categories of petty, serious and heinous crimes.
The expansion of the definition of 'Child In Need Of Care and Protection' (CNCP) is also proposed. The CNCP will also include survivors of trafficking, drug abuse, abandonment by guardians and those rescued from child labour.
Other amendments include classifying eligibility parameters for Child Welfare Committee (CWC) members' appointment and categorising previously undefined offences under 'serious offence'.
A data relating to information on children restored with their families, runaway children, or a number of fatalities will be collected and shared by the district magistrate, Irani added.