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NCPCR Guidelines for Juvenile Crimes

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April 26, 2023

Why in news?

National Commission for Protection of Children issued guidelines for trying a juvenile as an adult in case of heinous crimes.

How does a juvenile get tried as an adult?

  • 3 categories of offences - The Juvenile Justice Act 2015 (JJ Act, 2015) has categorized the offences committed by children into three categories which are
    • Petty offences,
    • Serious offences and
    • Heinous offences.
  • Section 15 of the JJ Act (2015) - In case of a heinous offence against a child, who is or above the age of 16, the juvenile justice board shall conduct a preliminary assessment.
  • Preliminary assessment - To test the mental and physical capacity of juvenile and his/her ability to conduct a crime should be assed.
  • Sole objective preliminary assessment is to determine whether a child within the age group of 16-18 years should be tried as an adult in case of heinous offences.
  • Section 18 (3) of JJ act (2015) - After the preliminary assessment if there is a need for trying children as adult then the case is transferred to children’s court.
  • Regular jail at 21 - If the juvenile is found guilty and sentenced he/she will only be transferred to a regular jail to be tried as an adult at the age of 21.

According to Juvenile Justice Care and Protection Act (2015) “Juvenile or child” means a person who has not completed 18 years of age.

What is the role of juvenile justice Board (JJB)?

  • Preliminary assessment - Juvenile justice Board (JJB) shall be responsible for the preliminary assessment and provide the child, the child’s family, and their counsel a copy of the order.
  • Degree in child psychology or child psychiatry - The board need to have a member who is a practicing professional with a degree in child psychology or child psychiatry.
  • In case of absent of such member the board Board shall take the assistance of psychologists or experts who have the experience of working with children in difficult times.
  • Legal aid counsel - Should be provided to child through District Legal Services Authority.
  • Legal aid counsel should be present during the preliminary assessment.
  • Training - Under the section 15 of the JJ act 2015 training is mandate for the experts who assist the JJB.
  • Probation officer or Child Welfare Officer - After the interaction with the child or child’s family, a Social Investigation Report (SIR) should be prepared.
  • To know more about child welfare committee click here

Beijing rules and Riyadh guidelines are international instruments that recognize child rights.

What is the way forward?

  • Since the guidelines have been made to remove any ambiguity and to clarify the steps involving preliminary assessment the errors of trying innocent juvenile as an adult will be minimized.
  • The absorption of these principles in the system needs to be monitored by NCPCR.
  • The principles in the guidelines needs to be given due importance by JJB and children’s court.

Quick facts

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR)

  • Protection of all children (0 to 18) years age group is of equal importance.
  • Functions of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights as laid out in the Commissions for Protection of Child Rights (CPCR) Act 2005.
  • The functions include
    • Examine and review the safeguards provided by any law for the protection of child rights and recommend measures for their effective implementation.
    • Inquire into complaints and take suo-motu notice of matter relating to
      • Deprivation and violation of child rights;
      • Non implementation of laws providing for protection and development of children;
      • Take up the issues arising out of such matters with appropriate authorities.
  • NCPCR is under a statutory obligation under Section 109 of the JJ Act, 2015 to monitor the proper implementation of the provisions of the Act.


  1. The Hindu│ Guidelines Issued By NCPCR
  2. Times Of India│  Juvenile Justice
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