Under the Juvenile Justice Act, the terms used to describe the accused, the victim and other legal nuances of the case are different from cases of crime by adult persons.
According to the law for juveniles, a child involved in a crime is not called an accused and referred as Juvenile in Conflict with Law (JCL).
If the victim is a minor, then he/she is referred as juvenile in need of care and protection.
“The arrest is referred as apprehension, trial is called inquiry and conviction is disposition. During the course of inquiry, social investigation report is given more credence than the evidence in deciding the quantum of punishment,” said Amod Kanth, who runs an NGO called Prayas.
The social investigation report takes into account family history, past record, attitude towards religion and ethical code of the home, social and economic status, delinquency record of members of family, living conditions and the relationship between parents.Under the Juvenile Justice Act, there is no provision for conviction.