The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill, 2015

ISSUEThe Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill, 2015, adopted by the Lok Sabha in May, 2015, is tobe considered by the Rajya Sabha in December, 2015 as a replacement for the Juvenile Justice (Care andProtection of Children) Act, 2000.The most contentious issue in the Bill is the proposal that the minimum age for a child to be placed in the adultcriminal justice system be lowered from the current 18 years to 16 years for certain crimes.Under current law, children below 18 years are subject to criminal action ONLY in a specially trained andequipped juvenile justice system geared to seeking the reintegration of children in conflict with law asproductive members of society so as to prevent them falling into a black-hole of lifelong criminality if theywere put in the adult criminal justice system and exposed to the influence of hardened criminals and gangs inadult lock ups and prisons.