Juvenile Delinquency in India

Juvenile Delinquency in India

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Juvenile Delinquency is a crucial problem in India. It refers to the antisocial or unlawful activity of a child which infringes the law and order of a nation. The growing juvenile delinquency is the result of industrialization and urbanization. As per the data, 50% and above crimes are executed by juveniles were against women.[1] Juvenile delinquency belongs to that type of children who express considerable divergence in terms of their social adjustment and are therefore also called socially abnormal.

Meaning of Juvenile Delinquency:-

Juvenile means a child below an age specified by a law of a nation and delinquency means a type of anomaly or anti-social behavior. Simply juvenile delinquency means a type of anomaly behavior by a minor below the age prescribed by the law of a nation. 

Who is a Juvenile Delinquency?

As per the Juvenile Justice Act, 1986 juvenile delinquent is a minor who relinquishes criminal and anti-social activities.

The juvenile child commits delinquency like shoplifting, using vulgar language, sexual offences, snatching, visit gambling centers, wandering on roads, market place and habitual truancy beyond the supervision of the child’s parents. 

Causes of Juvenile Delinquency in India:-

The ‘Crime in India’ report announced by the National Crime Records Bureau asserted that 31,591 total crimes committed by juveniles were recorded in the year 2018.[2] Not a single factor is responsible for juvenile delinquency several factors are responsible for that. The causes of juvenile delinquency are stated below:

1. Poverty: Poverty is one of the major reasons behind juvenile delinquency. 86 million people in India living under the extreme poverty line and a large number of juvenile delinquent come from poor families. Juveniles commit delinquent conducts to fulfill the needs of their life.

2. Peer group and Gangs: a child spends time with his peer groups and many children by peer pressure or by the influence become a delinquent.

3. Broken Homes: Broken homes and family is one of the causes of juvenile delinquency. Death of a dear family member, illness, divorce of parents, cruelty affects the mental growth of children and they become a victim of criminal influence from another delinquent.

4. Movies: Movies plays an important role in society. Children love to see the latest movies and easily influence by delinquent acts shown in movies.

5. Mental and Emotional Deficiency: Mental and emotional deficiency is one of the personal reason behind juvenile delinquency. Mental and emotional factor like jealousy, inferiority and feeling unwanted make a child becomes delinquent.

Indian Laws for Juvenile Delinquency:-

The Fundamental Rights enshrined under the Part III of the Constitution of India and protects all the children rights and empowers the state government to make special provision for children. In India, some laws deal with juvenile delinquency.  The laws are given below:

Juvenile Justice Act, 1986: This Act furnished for the care, security, treatment, development and rehabilitation of overlooked or delinquent minors. 

Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of children) Act 2000: The main purpose of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of children) 2000 is to strengthen the laws about juveniles in the confrontation with law and children in need of care and protection by giving proper care, security and treatment by accepting a child-friendly approach in adjudication and tendency of matters in the interest of children and for their absolute rehabilitation through several institutions organized under the enactment of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of children) Act 2000. Nirbhaya Delhi Gang Rape Case, 2012 has compelled legislators of India to come up with this statute. This Act contained ill-equipped legal requirements and the malfunctioning juvenile system was the main reason for deterring minor crimes in India.[3] 

Juvenile Justice (Care and of Children) Act 2015: The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 purpose to modify and consolidate the law relating to children who are alleged to conflict with the law and children in wants care and protection. It upheld the provisions for a child-friendly approach in the adjudication and removal of issues in the reasonable interest of children. The Act provides for ascertaining processes, institutions and bodies for the rehabilitation and social reintegration of delinquent children. 

As per the Act, offences done by a juvenile are classified as petty, serious and heinous. For petty crimes, the maximum punishment of a juvenile under the Indian Penal Code 1860 is detention for 3 years. For serious crimes, the punishment is imprisonment for between 3-7 years and for heinous crimes the minimum punishment is imprisonment for 7 years. The imprisonment decision is based on the nature of the offence done by a juvenile. 

Remedies for preventing Juvenile Delinquency:-

A delinquent child may turn to be a chronic criminal in future. Few preventing remedies for juvenile delinquency are given below –

  • Enlighten the parents to realize the significance of providing adequate attention to their children.
  • Create recreational agencies to deter juvenile from becoming the prey of illegal recreation.
  • Provide training to the members and all organizations pertained to delin­quency control.
  • Establish child guidance clinics to give applicable treatment to disturbed children. 
  • Enhance the social environment such as slum areas, market areas, gambling centers etc., to deter children to get corrupted.[4]

Conclusion:-

Children are the future of our country. Their life, good mental health, education, basic needs all matters, in that case, the government as well as non-government organizations should work to prevent and protect children from becoming delinquent.

By Shreeparna Goswami

3rd year of Shyambazar Law College.


[1] 102. Juvenile Crime Facts | JM | Department of Justice, https://www.justice.gov/archives/jm/criminal-resource-manual-102-juvenile-crime-facts.

[2] More than 99% of the Juveniles apprehended for crimes in 2018 are Boys, Pavithra K M, Factly, https://factly-in.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/factly.in/more-than-99-of-the-juveniles-apprehended-for-crimes-are    boys/amp/?amp_gsa=1&amp_js_v=a6&usqp=mq331AQHKAFQArABIA%3D%3D#amp_tf=From%251%24s&aoh=16199695495201&referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&ampshare=https%3A%2F%2Ffactly.in%2Fmore-than-99-of-the-juveniles-apprehended-for-crimes-are-boys%2Fhttps://factly.in/more-than-99-of-the-juveniles-apprehended-for-crimes-are-boys/.

[3] JUVENILE DELINQUENCY AND JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM IN INDIA | Law column, https://www.lawcolumn.in/juvenile-delinquency-and-juvenile-justice-system-in-india/.

[4] Essay on Remedies for Juvenile Delinquency, https://www.shareyouressays.com/essays/essay-on-remedies-for-juvenile-delinquency/85963.

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