Legal Provision related to Children
Provision related to Children in “Constitution of India”
Article 14. The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.
(1) The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them.
(2) No citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them, be subject to any disability, liability, restriction or condition with regard to—
(a) access to shops, public restaurants, hotels and places of public entertainment; or
(b) the use of wells, tanks, bathing ghats, roads and places of public resort maintained wholly or partly out of State funds or dedicated to the use of the general public.
(3) Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making any special provision for women and children.
(4) Nothing in this article or in clause (2) of article 29shall prevent the State from making any special provision for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.
(5) Nothing in this article or in sub-clause (g) of clause (1) of article 19 shall prevent the State from making any special provision, by law, for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for the Scheduled Castes or the Scheduled Tribes in so far as such special provisions relate to their admission to educational institutions including private educational institutions, whether aided or unaided by the State, other than the minority educational institutions referred to in clause (1) of article 30.
Article 21A. The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of six to fourteen years in such manner as the State may, by law, determine.
Article 24. No child below the age of fourteen years shall be employed to work in any factory or mine or engaged in any other hazardous employment.
Article 39. The State shall, in particular, direct its policy towards securing—
(a) that the citizens, men and women equally, have the right to an adequate means of livelihood;
(b) that the ownership and control of the material resources of the community are so distributed as best to subserve the common good;
(c) that the operation of the economic system does not result in the concentration of wealth and means of production to the common detriment;
(d) that there is equal pay for equal work for both men and women;
(e) that the health and strength of workers, men and women, and the tender age of children are not abused and that citizens are not forced by economic necessity to enter avocations unsuited to their age or strength;
(f) that children are given opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity and that childhood and youth are protected against exploitation and against moral and material abandonment.
Article 45. The State shall endeavour to provide, within a period of ten years from the commencement of this Constitution, for free and compulsory education for all children until they complete the age of fourteen years .
It shall be the duty of every citizens of India-
(k) who is a parent or guardian to provide opportunities for education to his child or, as the case may be, ward between the age of six and fourteen years]
Provision under Information Technology Act, 2008
Section : 67
Punishment for publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form (Amended vide ITAA 2008)
Whoever publishes or transmits or causes to be published in the electronic form, any material which is lascivious or appeals to the prurient interest or if its effect is such as to tend to deprave and corrupt persons who are likely, having regard to all relevant circumstances, to read, see or hear the matter contained or embodied in it, shall be punished on first conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two three years and with fine which may extend to five lakh rupees and in the event of a second or subsequent conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years and also with fine which may extend to ten lakh rupees.
Section : 67 A
Punishment for publishing or transmitting of material containing sexually explicit act,etc. in electronic form (Inserted vide ITAA 2008)
Whoever publishes or transmits or causes to be published or transmitted in the electronic form any material which contains sexually explicit act or conduct shall be punished on first conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years and with fine which may extend to ten lakh rupees and in the event of second or subsequent conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven yearsand also with fine which may extend to ten lakh rupees.
Exception: This section and section 67 does not extend to any book, pamphlet, paper, writing, drawing, painting, representation or figure in electronic form-
(i) the publication of which is proved to be justified as being for the public good on the ground that such book, pamphlet, paper, writing, drawing, painting, representation or figure is in the interest of science,literature,art,or learning or other objects of general concern; or
(ii) which is kept or used bona fide for religious purposes.
Section : 67 B
Punishment for publishing or transmitting of material depicting children in sexually explicit act, etc. in electronic form.
(a) publishes or transmits or causes to be published or transmitted material in any electronic form which depicts children engaged in sexually explicit act or conduct or
(b) creates text or digital images, collects, seeks, browses, downloads, advertises, promotes, exchanges or distributes material in any electronic form depicting children in obscene or indecent or sexually explicit manner or
(c) cultivates, entices or induces children to online relationship with one or more children for and on sexually explicit act or in a manner that may offend a reasonable adult on the computer resource or
(d) facilitates abusing children online or
(e) records in any electronic form own abuse or that of others pertaining to sexually explicit act with children,
shall be punished on first conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years and with a fine which may extend to ten lakh rupees and in the event of second or subsequent conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years and also with fine which may extend to ten lakh rupees:
Provided that the provisions of section 67, section 67A and this section does not extend to any book, pamphlet, paper, writing, drawing, painting, representation or figure in electronic form-
(i) The publication of which is proved to be justified as being for the public good on the ground that such book, pamphlet, paper writing, drawing, painting, representation or figure is in the interest of science, literature, art or learning or other objects of general concern; or
(ii) which is kept or used for bonafide heritage or religious purposes
Explanation: For the purposes of this section, "children" means a person who has not completed the age of 18 years.
IPC and other Local & Special Laws Pertaining to Crimes Against Children
While the primary focus of the JJA is to provide care and protection to children, Sections 21, 23 to 26 specifically provide for action against adult perpetrators of crimes against children.
Section 21 : Prohibition of publication of name, etc, of juvenile involved in any proceeding under the act.
Section 23 : Punishment for cruelty to juvenile or child.
Section 24 : Employment of juvenile or child for begging.
Section 25 : Penalty for giving intoxicating liquor or narcotic drug for psychotropic substance to juvenile or child.
Section 26 : Exploitation of juvenile or child employee. In dealing with crime against children along with section of JJA,
IPC and other local and special law must be used.
The Indian Penal Code- Crime against children punishable under IPC:
Section 302 : Murder
Section 315 & 316 : Foeticide
Section 315 : Infanticide – 0 to 1 year of age
Section 305 : Abetment to suicide
Section 317 : Exposure and abandonment All degrees of hurt or abuse Section 319 : hurt
Section 320 : Grievous hurt
Section 321 : Voluntarily causing hurt
Section 322 : Voluntarily causing grievous hurt
Section 324 : Voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means
Section 339 : Wrongful restraint
Section 340 : Wrongful confinement Kidnapping and Abduction
Section 360 : Kidnapping for exporting
Section 361 : Kidnapping for lawful guardianship
Section 363 read with
Section 384 : Kidnapping for ransom
Section 363 : Kidnapping for camel racing
Section 363-A : Kidnapping for begging
Section 366 : Kidnapping to compel for marriage
Section 367 : Kidnapping for slavery
Section 369 : Kidnapping child for stealing from its person” child under 10 years of age only
Section 366-A : Procuration of minor girls
Section 366-B : Importation of girls
Section 372 : Selling of girls for prostitution
Section 373 : Buying of girls for prostitution
Section 376 : Rape
Section 377: Unnatural offences
These are the Sections whose data is collected by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) for their analysis.
Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 –
The “child” under ITPA means a person who has not completed the age of sixteen years and “prostitution” means the sexual exploitation or abuse of persons for commercial purposes.
Section 3 : Stringent action and punishment for keeping a brothel or allowing premises to be used as a brothel
Section 4 : Living on the earnings of prostitution
Section 5 : Procuring, including of taking a person for the sake of prostitution
Section 6 : If any person is found with a child in a brothel it shall be presumed, unless the contrary is proved, that he has committed an offence of detaining a person in premises where prostitute is carried on. The punishment consists of imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be less than 7 years
Section 21 : Establishment of protective homes by the State Government
ITPA Amendment Bill, 2006 –
Section 2 : Change the definition of child from 16 to 18-years-old.
Section 3 : Enhance punishment for a person who keeps or manages or acts or assists in keeping or managing of a brothel
Section 5 : Define the offence of “Trafficking in Persons”, to provide punishment for the said offence and also to provide punishment for a person who visits or is found in a brothel for the purpose of sexual exploitation.
Section 6 : Enhance punishment provided for the offence of detaining a person on a premises where prostitution is carried on
Section 22 : Make provision for in camera proceedings to protect the privacy and dignity of the victims Confiscation of the property of the persons involved in the offence of trafficking in persons.
Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986 –
The Act provides for punishments and penalties for employing children below the age of 14 years in certain occupations and process. It provides for regulation of work conditions including fixing hours of work, weekly holidays, notices to inspectors, provisions for resolving disputes as to age, maintenance of registers, etc. T
hrough a recent notification in 2006, child domestic workers up to 14 years of age working in hotels, dhabas, eateries and in the entertainment industry have been brought within the purview of the Act. It is one step towards the total elimination of child labour.
Schedules A and B provide the 16 Occupations and 65 Processes that prohibit employment of children respectively.
Section 17 of the Act identifies all officers who are empowered by the Act to rescue children from work. Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India, has come up with a draft protocol and procedure for raid and rescue of children from labour and trafficked for labour.
Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 –
The Child Marriage Restraint Act, 1929 has been repealed and the major provisions of the new Act include:
Age of marriage for boys is 21 and 18 for girls and any marriage of persons below this age is child marriage – illegal, an offence and punishable under law Every child marriage shall be void if so desired by either the bride or the groom who was a child at the time of marriage
The Court while granting nullity shall make an order directing the parents and guardians to return the money, ornaments and other gifts received The Court may also make an order directing the groom or parents or guardian to pay maintenance to the bride until her remarriage
The Court shall make an appropriate order for the custody and the maintenance of the offspring of child marriage Notwithstanding that a child marriage has been annulled, every offspring of such a marriage shall be deemed to be a legitimate child for all purposes
Any person arranging, party to, solemnizing participating in a child marriage is also liable to be punished under the Act, including mass marriages Child marriages to be considered automatically void in certain circumstances like minor being sold for the purpose of marriage, minor after being married is sold or trafficked or used for immoral purposes, etc.
Enhancement in punishment for male adults marrying a child, and persons performing, abetting, promoting, attending, etc., a child marriage to be imprisoned up to two years and fined up to one lakh rupees Act identifies official as Child Marriage prohibition officers.
The Govt. will appoint child marriage prohibition officers, whose duties include prevention of child marriages, collection of evidence for effective prosecution, creating awareness and sensitization of the community, etc.
The penalty for facilitating child marriage is rigorous imprisonment up to two years and/or a fine up to one lakh rupees.
Other Laws –
Guardian and Wards Act, 1890
Minimum Wages Act, 1948
Factories Act, 1954
Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956
Probation of Offenders Act, 1958
Bombay Prevention of Begging Act, 1959
Orphanages and other Charitable Home (Supervision and Control) Act, 1960
Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976
Prevention of illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1987
Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act, 1994
Persons with Disabilities (Equal Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 2000