The Union Cabinet on Wednesday gave its nod for amendment in the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 to introduce measures for strengthening the child protection set-up to ensure the best interests of children.
It was a proposal by the Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD), which seeks amendment in the existing JJ Act for giving protection to children that face trafficking, child labour and other issues.
Chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Cabinet approved the WCD ministry’s proposal for amendments seeking authorisation to the District Magistrate, including the Additional District Magistrate, to issue adoption orders under Section 61 of the JJ Act, in order to ensure speedy disposal of cases and enhance accountability.
Among some other aspects of the proposal, the District Magistrates have been further empowered under the JJ Act to ensure its smooth implementation as well as garner synergised efforts in favour of children in distress.
The draft amendment also defines eligibility parameters for appointment of CWC members and categorises previously undefined offences as a ‘serious offence’. Several difficulties faced in implementation of various provisions of the Act have also been addressed in the amendment proposal.
While announcing the move, Union Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani said, “This is a big step to protect children.”