All children homes in India will have to be registered under the Juvenile Justice Act, even if they have licences under any other Indian law.
The women and child development (WCD) ministry has said the Juvenile Justice (JJ) Act will apply even to child care institutions that are not keen on children in need of care and protection. “It is a legal requirement that all institutions housing children should be registered under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act,” the ministry said in an affidavit filed in the Delhi High Court.
The court is hearing a plea filed by civil society group HAQ Centre for Child Rights, seeking the registration of a sister concern of Arya Orphanage under the JJ Act. It had said that as the institution has a licence under the Women and Children’s Institutions (Licensing) Act, 1956 it did not require registration under the JJ Act.
Overruling the contention and laying a clear policy framework for the entire country, the ministry said registration of institutions under Women and Children Institutions (Licensing) Act has no value as the said Act stood repealed even since the JJ Act came into being in 2006.
“There is an urgent need to identify and register all child care institutions in the state, and establish a mechanism for monitoring the management of the homes... as prescribed under the JJ Act,” WCD minister Krishna Tirath said in a letter to all chief ministers.