What to do with delinquents over 18?
LOOPHOLES IN the law have made the district administration face a piquant situation. What do juvenile homes do with delinquents who have reached the age of 18?
About 13 children above 18 continue to remain in custody in the State Juvenile Home. The matter was referred to the juvenile court and a decision is awaited said district probation officer SK Mishra.
The continued custody of these new adults may cause harm kids much younger, said social workers. They demanded that the government should introduce a new law on the issue at the earliest.
According to definition of a child in Section-2’s sub section 9(T) of Juvenile Act, 2000, any person below 18 years would be considered a child. Therefore, any one who is above 18 years could not be legally kept in juvenile homes.
A few months back, the district magistrate directed medical examination of the delinquents at the State Juvenile Home. A medical board constituted by the office of chief medical officer (CMO) certified 13 ‘children’ above 18 years.
Taking note of the CMO’s report, State Juvenile Home assistant superintendent Premendra Kumar sought the transfer of these ‘children’ out of the home.
He wrote a letter to chief judicial magistrate of juvenile court on December 9, 2005. It was also stated in the letter that according to existing norms of the Juvenile Act 2000, there was no provision to keep those above 18 in the home.
Copies of the letter were also sent to state authorities and district authorities concerned. But, no action has been taken yet in this regard said Mishra.
However, Mishra said there is a special home situated in Etwah District where delinquents who have turned 18 could be transferred. Here too, only those below 20 years can be housed.