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Section 6 – Powers of Juvenile Justice Board – Juvenile Justice (Care And Protection Of Children) Act, 2000

(2) The powers conferred on the Board by or under this Act may also be exercised by the High Court and the Court of Session, when the proceeding comes before them in appeal, revision or otherwise.

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The main object of setting up the Juvenile Justice Board is not only to bring about reformation in the Juvenile in conflict with law but to ensure that the legal consequences of his criminal act do not adversely affect his future life as also to prevent him from stiginatisation.

It is mainly for this reason that delinquent juvenile has been called ‘a juvenile in conflict with law’ and the use of the word ‘delinquent’ has been deliberately avoided in the Act. Similarly, when a juvenile in conflict with law is found guilty of having committed an offence, instead of sentencing him the Board may pass any order as provided in Section 15 of the Act against him so that the juvenile is saved from a stigma of being called as a ‘convict’.

In State of Karnataka v. Harshad, the High Court held that where the Juvenile Justice Board has been constituted under Section 4 of the J. J. Act, such Board would have exclusive power of dealing with trial of juveniles in conflict with law and would bar the jurisdiction of any Court including that of the Sessions Court or Fast Track Court.

In the instant case, in view of the fact that a Juvenile Justice Board had already been constituted by Notification No. MME 94 MBB 2003 dated 27th July, 2003, to have jurisdiction over Davangere District of Karnataka therefore this Board had the exclusive power to deal with the trial of juvenile in conflict with law and to that extent barred the jurisdiction of any other Court.

The High Court of Karnataka in this case further held that Juvenile Justice Board has the power to try an offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life and Section 6 of the Act is not inconsistent with Section 27 of Cr. P.C.

The right to appeal against the order passed by the Juvenile Justice Board in respect of a juvenile in conflict with law is limited so that the juvenile has to remain under judicial procedure for the minimum possible time. Where a juvenile is found ‘not guilty’ by the Board or the Board in its order records that he is not a neglected child, no appeal shall lie against such order of the Board and its decision shall be final.

However, where the Board finds that the juvenile is guilty of an offence or he is a neglected child and makes an appropriate order against him under Section 15 of the Act, only one appeal shall lie against such order in the Court of Session whose decision shall be final. It may be stated that the High Court has only revisional powers in respect of juvenile in conflict with law under the Act and it does not have appellate power in this regard.

Sub-section (2) provides that the powers conferred on the Juvenile Justice Board by this section may be exercised by the High Court and the Court of Session, when the proceeding comes before them in revision or appeal, as the case may be.

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