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This article is written by P. Rahini of Sathyabama Institute of Science and Technology an intern under legal vidhiya.


This article discusses the juvenile justice board concerning children who are in conflict with the law as given under the juvenile justice act of 2015. “Child in conflict with the law (CCL)” refers to someone who is accused of committing an offence and is later determined to have done so, but was under the age of 18 when the alleged offence was allegedly committed. Every State Government must establish one or more Juvenile Justice Boards in each district to carry out the duties and exercise the powers and responsibilities related to children in conflict with the law under this Act.

KEYWORDS: Powers and Responsibilities Juvenile Justice Board, Juvenile Justice Act.


 The Juvenile Justice Act of 2000 was repealed by the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act of 2015. In order to determine whether or not the trial of criminals in the age range of 16 to 18 should be held as an adult trial contains the Juvenile Justice Board, which is made up of psychologists and sociologists and operates under Section 4 of the Act. Any young person accused of a crime may appear before this board. It is a welcoming setting that emphasises the child’s rehabilitation over punishment. The Juvenile Justice Board concept, its background, powers, and functions are all covered in this article.


Section 4 of the 2015 Juvenile Justice Act established the Juvenile Justice Board. According to this clause, minor offenders are not brought before a criminal court. There are many juvenile justice boards constituted in each district since, according to Schedule VII of the Indian Constitution, the administration of criminal justice falls under List II. A saving clause is present in Section 4 to provide an intervening impact over Section 27 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

The purpose of creating the special court was to hold a child accountable without using punishment but rather a reformation and rehabilitation. Additionally, it seeks to defend the provisions of Article 39(f), which states that “children are given the chance and resources that allow them to grow in an appropriate way and in circumstances that promote liberty and respect and that young people have protection against manipulation as well as morally and economic abandonment.” The state is required to uphold children’s rights since the Constitution places a primary emphasis on doing so.


Section 4 (2) of the act defines this board’s constitution. According to the Code of Criminal Procedure, the bench has the same authority as a criminal court.  A selection committee, led by a retired High Court judge, chooses the members, which include:

  • Principal Magistrate: For this position, a Judicial Magistrate First Class or Metropolitan Magistrate with three years of experience is qualified. not the Chief Judicial or Chief Metropolitan Magistrate.
  • Two social workers are needed, one of whom must be a woman with at least seven years of experience working in the fields of health, education, or welfare programmes for children. A professional with a degree in child psychology, sociology, psychiatry, or law is appointed.

In the State of Himachal Pradesh v. Happy, the order was made by a single magistrate without adhering to the requirements for the Juvenile Justice Board’s operation. The High Court ruled that the decision made by one board member was invalid from the start.

The actions that disqualify a person from serving on this board are listed in Section 4(4) of the Act. According to this, a person is ineligible for this if they:

  • Has been found guilty of a crime under any legislation based on moral turpitude, and the verdict has not been overturned or pardoned.
  •  Has a history of violating any human or children’s rights.
  • Was fired or removed from any position in the federal, state, or local governments, as well as any company they owned or ran.
  • Has participated in child abuse, child labour, etc.


 According to section 4(5) of the act, the state government is responsible for offering training to all Juvenile Justice Board members. All employees must receive induction training within sixty days of their appointments.

In Section 4(6), it is discussed how long members’ terms of office should be. The resignation of Board members is also covered. The initial tenure is for three years. Members may, however, be appointed for a maximum of two terms in a row.  Similar to every other judicial officer, the state government sets the Principal Magistrate’s salary and benefits.

Termination of Members:

 Any board member, excluding the Principal Magistrate, may be removed from office after the State Government investigates if:

  • He/she is found to have abused the power granted to him/her by this act;
  •  He/she failed to appear at consecutive Board meetings for more than three months without a good cause;
  •  He/she became disqualified under subsection 4 while serving as a member;
  • He/she failed to attend the meetings; He/she became disqualified as per subsection 4

Placement of Persons:

 Two categories have been established for the placement of persons under Sections 5 and 6 of the Juvenile Justice Act:

  • If anybody turns out to be a child while the investigation is underway: If an investigation is opened for a crime committed by a child under this act and the kid turns 18 during the investigation, the investigation may continue and decisions may be made based on the assumption that the individual is still a minor.
  • When an offence was committed by a person who was under the age of 18: If a person who has reached the age of eighteen is arrested for committing a crime while under the age of eighteen, that person should be treated as a juvenile while being questioned. The board must give the person a safe location to stay during the inquiry process if bail is not granted, and they must be handled according to the legal procedures.

No matter the type of offence committed, juvenile legislation must have precedence in instances involving minors, according to the Supreme Court’s ruling in the case of Ram Singh v. State of Haryana, (2000) 6 SCC 759. In addition, the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act of 2000 section 1(4) states that regardless of any other laws currently in effect, the provisions of this Act shall apply to all situations involving the detention, prosecution, punishment, or sentence of imprisonment of juveniles in conflict with the law under such other laws.

The juvenile justice system involves several different parties, including the police, probation officers, juvenile justice boards, NGOs, lawyers, the legal services authority, state and federal governments, and others. Their purpose and contribution to the juvenile justice delivery system are crucial.


Regardless of any other currently in effect laws, the Juvenile Justice Board has sole jurisdiction to handle juveniles in dispute with the law. When handling appeals or revisions, the High Court or the Court of Sessions may wield the same authority as the Juvenile Justice Board may.

Procedures about the Board. –

  1. The Board must convene at the times and adhere to the rules of procedure that may be established for the conduct of business at its meetings.
  2.  When the Board is not in session, a child in legal trouble may be brought before a specific board member.
  3. A Board may act even if a member is not present, and no order made by the Board shall be invalidated only because a member was not present during any stage of proceedings;

As long as the chief Magistrate and at least two other members are present when the matter is finally resolved. If there is a disagreement among the Board members about the interim or final disposition, the majority opinion shall govern; however, if there is no such majority, the Chief Magistrate’s opinion shall govern.

Even though there are three members of the Juvenile Justice Board, the juvenile may be brought before any one of them when the Board is not in session. That member has the authority to issue all relevant orders, except for ultimate disposition. Any such order must be approved by the Board at its following meeting. But just two members, including the principal magistrate, can make the final decision.

The majority opinion shall be followed whenever there is a disagreement among Board members about the interim or final disposition. In the absence of such a majority, the Principal Magistrate’s judgement shall be final.


The statute gives the Juvenile Justice Board the authority to hear cases in its area of jurisdiction and those involving minors who are involved in legal disputes. In instances of appeal or revision under Section 19, the High Courts or Children’s Courts may also use the same authorities. It was made clear in the case of Hasham Abbas Syyed v. Usman Abbas Sayyad that a magistrate’s order that extends outside the bounds of his jurisdiction will be deemed illegal.

When the suspected child violates the law, the board must use its authority to hold an inquiry following the act’s provisions. Under Sections 17 and 18 of the JJ Act from 2015, it may also pass orders. The board exercises its power to examine the matters of heinous crimes specified in Section 15. Within three months of the child’s first appearance before the board and the date of production, this initial assessment must be finished.  According to the ruling in Puneet S. v. State of Karnataka, the Juvenile Justice Board has the exclusive authority to determine whether the committed offence qualifies as heinous or not.

The board’s responsibilities include the following:

  • To inform on the involvement of children and their parent or guardian in the proceedings.
  • Make sure that children’s rights are upheld throughout the whole investigation, arrest, and rehabilitation process.
  • if the child is unable to understand the language at the time of the proceedings, offer a translator or interpreter.
  • disposing of or concluding the case following the procedure outlined in Section 14 of the act.
  • whatever additional duties that the board may be assigned.
  • to guarantee the child’s and the parent’s or guardian’s informed participation in every step of the procedure.
  • To guarantee that children’s rights are upheld during the process of kidnapping, investigation, aftercare, and rehabilitation.
  • To guarantee that children’s rights are upheld during the process of kidnapping, investigation, aftercare, and rehabilitation.
  • to make sure the child has access to legal aid.
  • if the kid is unable to grasp the language being used to progress, the board shall provide a qualified translator or interpreter.
  • passing a final order that resolves the issue and includes a personalised care plan for the child’s rehabilitation, as well as any necessary follow-up by the probation officer, the district child protection unit, or a representative of a non-governmental organisation.
  • to investigate to determine who is qualified to care for children who violate the law.
  • to undertake at least one inspection, visit per month at residential facilities for children in trouble with the law and to make recommendations for the District Child Protection Unit and the State Government regarding actions to be taken to improve the quality of services.


When a supposedly law-breaking child is brought before the Board, it will exercise its authority under Sections 17 and 18 of the JJ Act, 2015 to conduct an inquiry following those provisions and issue any directions it sees fit.

According to Section 15 of the Act, the Board also has the authority to look into grave violations. After the child’s initial appearance before the Board, the preliminary assessment must be resolved within three months. The Juvenile Justice Board strives to handle these kids who are in trouble with the law in the best way possible so that they can later be reintegrated into society as valuable contributors.



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