New Delhi, Apr 6 (PTI) Flagging that the amendment to the Juvenile Justice Act in 2021 diluted its provisions, speakers at a DCPCR event here demanded that the legislation be amended again to restore the section that makes “serious offences” against children cognisable.
The speakers included AAP leaders Sanjay Singh and Atishi, Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) chairman Anurag Kundu and lawyer Vrinda Grover.
In 2021, the Centre amended the Juvenile Justice Act-2015 by passing the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Act.
“The amended act has many amendments. One of them is the amendment to the section that deals with the offences against children. Because of the amendment, now the offences against children under the JJ Act that have punishment of more than three years and less than seven years (i.e. serious offences) have been made non-cognisable,” said DCPCR chairman Anurag Kundu said.
Explaining about the consequences of the amendment made, he said that non-cognizable under the CrPC means no FIR without special permission of a judicial magistrate. Police can only record general diary entries and not an FIR. No FIR means no automatic investigation, he said.
Addressing the gathering, AAP MP Sanjay Singh said, “The Amendment Act barring police to register FIR and automatic investigation into serious offences against children is devastating and should immediately be corrected by the Government of India. I have moved a private member’s bill in Rajya Sabha in this regard, and I hope my bill will generate the much needed debate on this issue.” In her address, Grover said the 2021 amendments were in defiance of the letter and spirit of the JJ Act. The stated objective of the JJ Act is to ensure the best interests of the child. “By designating offences punishable between three-seven years as non- cognisable these amendments depart from general law as codified under the CrPC. This will have a very serious fallout as in grave crimes against children there will be no strict mandate of the law to lodge an FIR or arrest the accused,” she said.
AAP MLA Atishi said, “This is an anti-poor legislation. Offences against children must be handled seriously and investigated properly.” PTI AMP SMN SMN
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Source: The Print