Under the JJ Act 2015, juveniles between 16 and 18 years of age, who are found guilty of committing heinous offences through a preliminary inquiry by the Juvenile Justice Board, will be sent to a children’s court that can pronounce the child guilty. Such juveniles can be detained in a ‘place of safety’ until they reach the age of 21. If still not found to have been “reformed” by 21, they can be sent to jails housing adults. At present, most states do not have the ‘place of safety’, also known as ‘borstals’.
The new Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill, 2015 has a provision that allows juvenile accused aged between 16 and 18 years who are accused of heinous crimes like rape, murder, etc., to be tried under the Indian Penal Code, i.e. laws under which adult offenders are tried.