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Can minor be tried as Adult when involved in fatal car accident

India's juvenile justice system is governed by the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, which provides a comprehensive framework for the care, protection, treatment, and rehabilitation of children in conflict with the law and children in need of care and protection. A juvenile or child is defined as a person below the age of 18 years. The Juvenile Justice Board is constituted to handle cases involving juveniles.

can minor be tried as adult when involved in fatal accident

Juveniles accused of committing an offence are referred to as 'children in conflict with the law.' The Act distinguishes between children aged 16-18 who commit heinous offences, allowing the possibility of being tried as adults, but only after a preliminary assessment by the Juvenile Justice Board.


How does Juvenile Justice Board decide if the Juvenile can be tried as Adult ?

Under Section 15 of the Act, the Board shall conduct a preliminary assessment regarding the juvenile's mental and physical capacity to commit the offence, their ability to understand the consequences, and the circumstances in which the offence allegedly occurred. The board, after the preliminary assessment, passes an order determining if the juvenile should be tried as an adult or not.


After the receipt of preliminary assessment from the Board under Section 15, the Children's Court may decide that: (i) There is a need for the trial of the child as an adult according to the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974), and pass appropriate orders after the trial, subject to the provisions of this section and Section 21. This decision should take into account the special needs of the child, the principles of fair trial, and the maintenance of a child-friendly atmosphere.

(iii) The Children's Court shall ensure that the child found in conflict with the law is sent to a place of safety until they attain the age of twenty-one years. Afterward, the person shall be transferred to a jail.


Under Section 21, no child in conflict with the law shall be sentenced to death or life imprisonment without the possibility of release for any offence, either under the provisions of this Act or under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860) or any other law for the time being in force.

 

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