Functions of the Special Juvenile Police Unit:
The Special Juvenile Police Unit shall perform the following functions:-
a. The Special Juvenile Police Unit and Child Welfare Officer at the police station will handle cases of both juveniles in conflict with law and children in need of care of protection and the social worker at the Special Juvenile Police Unit shall be the first line of intervention in all cases, as far as possible.
b. The Special Juvenile Police Unit shall coordinate and function as a watch-dog for providing legal protection against all kinds of cruelty, abuse and exploitation of children and report instances of non-compliance for further legal action.
c. The Special Juvenile Police Unit shall take serious cognizance of adult perpetrators of crimes against children and ensure that they are apprehended immediately and booked under the appropriate provisions of the law.
d. The Special Juvenile Police Unit shall ensure the registering, linking and monitoring of information regarding missing children received at the police station, and shall investigate immediately.
e. The Special Juvenile Police Units shall work with voluntary organisations, local governing bodies, community based organisations in identifying juveniles in conflict with law as well as reporting cases of violence against children, child neglect, child abuse and exploitation.
f. The Special Juvenile Police Unit shall maintain a list of NGOs/voluntary organisations in their respective jurisdiction, and shall monitor the activities to prevent all crimes against children specifically trafficking, illegal adoption and detention of children.
g. The Special Juvenile Police Unit to establish & maintain contacts with experts from various fields with the right credentials for their assistance/cooperation in child related matters, as and when required.
Procedures at Special Juvenile Police Unit
1. As soon as a juvenile alleged to be in conflict with law is received by the police, the concerned police officer shall inform
i. the designated Child Juvenile Welfare Officer in the jurisdictional police station to take charge
ii. the parents or legal guardian of the child or juvenile and their presence shall be ensured during further enquiries, and during any further questioning of the juvenile or child, shall try to ensure the presence of the parent or guardian
iii. the Probation Officer concerned, to enable him/her to fill in the Social Investigation Report Forms
a. The juvenile or child shall be treated with decency and dignity during investigation, enquiry, search, etc.
b. The right to confidentially and privacy of the juvenile/child shall be upheld.
c. Police officers and social workers shall ensure that no child/juvenile is tortured or harassed in order to extract information and he or she is not compelled to confess or give testimony.
d. The Child Welfare Officer or the social worker shall ensure that the juvenile or child is provided with immediate medical attention, basic needs and create a child-friendly atmosphere at the time of first contact.
e. The Special Juvenile Police Unit shall explain to the child/juvenile the charges against him/her in a simple language and manner that he/she understands clearly.
2. A quick assessment shall be made by the Child Welfare Officer at the place of contact and the details shall be recorded in the register/form concerned.
3. The Child/Juvenile Welfare Officer from the jurisdiction police station shall exercise the power of apprehending the child/juvenile only in cases of his alleged involvement in serious offences (entailing a punishment of more than seven years of imprisonment for adults).
4. In cases of non-serious offences where apprehension apparently seems to be in the interest of the child/juvenile, the Child/Juvenile Welfare Officer shall rather treat the juvenile as a child in need of care and protection and bring him/her before the Board, clearly explaining the juvenile’s need for care and protection in his/her report and seek appropriate orders from the Board under the rules.
5. For all other cases involving offences of non-serious nature (entailing a punishment of less than 7 years imprisonment for adults) and cases where apprehension is not necessary in the interest of the juvenile, the Child/Juvenile Welfare Officer shall intimate the parents or guardian of the juvenile about forwarding all information to the Board, which shall have the power to call the juvenile for subsequent hearings.
6. The District Child/Juvenile Welfare Officer at the Special Juvenile Police Unit or the Child Welfare Officer at the Police Station shall ensure immediate registration of a first Information Report in case of juvenile in conflict with law where the offence alleged to have been committed by the juvenile is of a serious nature such as rape, murder or when such offence is alleged to have been committed jointly with adults and age verification done.
7. After taking charge of the juvenile or child, the Child/Juvenile Welfare Officer shall conduct the preliminary inquiry and arrange to present the child before the Committee in case of a child in need of care and protection or in the case of juvenile in conflict with the law before the Board under intimation to the Special Juvenile Police Unit.
8. The FIR shall not contain any self incriminating language which can be held against the child or juvenile.
9. The police apprehending a juvenile in conflict with law shall in no case place the juvenile in lock-up or delay handing over the juvenile to the Child/Juvenile Welfare Officer. The police shall handle the juveniles or children in civil clothes except while on duty at the time of taking charge of the juvenile. The Child/Juvenile Welfare Officer shall ensure that the police shall not use handcuffs, leading chain or bands while taking the child to the Board, Committee or JJ Homes. In case of girl child or juvenile, she should be accompanied by a woman police.
10. The Child/Juvenile Welfare Officer shall ensure that no photograph or the identity of the juvenile or child is revealed to the media, no Dossiers/Search Slip etc. shall be opened by the police station and no biometrics/finger prints of the child is obtained.
11. The Child/Juvenile Welfare Officer shall ensure that the police do not, under normal circumstances, take charge of a juvenile or child between sunset and sunrise except in unusual circumstances.
12. Whenever a juvenile is brought before the Board, the police shall furnish the following details: Date and time of taking charge of a juvenile, address of the juvenile, offence said to have been committed and the place where the juvenile was kept stating reasons for delay, if any, till the juvenile was brought before the Board
b. Copy of the intimation letter sent to the Probation Officer or parent/guardian of the juvenile
c. Details of the property or articles taken from the juvenile at the time of taking charge
d. Copy of the First Information Report (FIR), if any.
13. Juvenile who have committed petty offences may be released after admonition or reconciliation from Special Juvenile Police Unit or Police Station itself, ratified by at least one member of the Board. If not, the juvenile shall be transferred or retained in the Observation Home/place of safety/Fit Institution and brought before the Board.
14. When a juvenile/child is taken into custody for allegedly committing serious offence, then he/she and his/her parents/guardians shall be informed about their right to representation and an opportunity provided to meet their Legal Aid before the meeting with the Board.
15. In case the Board is not sitting on the day the child is received, the juvenile shall be brought before a single members of the Board, as per the provisions laid down under the Act, and an order obtained. Such an order shall be ratified by the Board at its next sitting.
16. The Government shall recognize only such voluntary organisations that are in a position to provide the services of voluntary probation, counselling, case work, a safe place and also associate with the police or the Child Welfare Officer from the Special Juvenile Police Unit, and have the capacity, facilities and expertise to assist the Police at the time of apprehension, in preparation of the Social Investigation Report, in taking charge of the juvenile until he/she is brought before the Board, and in actual presentation of the juvenile before the Board within twenty-four hours.
17. The police shall ensure that the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child are strictly adhered to and all actions are initiated in the best interest of the juvenile or child.
18. The Special Juvenile Police Unit shall send a monthly status report to the State nodal office i.e. office of Jt. Commissioner of Police, Special Police Unit for Women & Children, Nanak Pura, New Delhi