The Child Welfare Officer and Special Juvenile Police Unit at the respective police stations are entrusted in dealing with cases relating to juveniles and for kids who are at the receiving end. Social workers employed at the Special Juvenile Police Unit will be the first point of contact for all these cases.

The Special Juvenile Police Unit ensures that kids are given full protection against kids for problems against sexual abuse or assault or cruelty and that parties who are indulging in these acts are brought to legal action.

The Special Juvenile Police Unit ensures that adult criminals who abuse a kid either physically or mentally, are brought to action immediately or given the necessary punishment as the law demands.

When information about missing children reaches the police station, it is the function of the Special Juvenile Police unit to register and collate all information about the same and get into the investigation process to get back the child.

For the purpose of acting against juveniles who are involved in actions against the law or for protecting the kids against sexual abuse or assault, or to control the illegal adoption or trafficking of kids, the Special Juvenile Police Unit collaborates with the NGOs and other organisations within their respective localities.

To get the necessary help from experts in specific matters relating to protection of child abuse and sexual assault, the Special Juvenile Police Unit to collaborate and work with them to get back the missing child or protect the rights of kids.

Procedures at Special Juvenile Police Unit

  • Once the juvenile who has behaved against the law is taken into police custody, the following procedures are done at the Special Juvenile Police Unit.
    • The Child Welfare Officer who has been appointed by the respective police station takes control of the case.
    • Initial enquiries with the child or the juvenile will be done only in the presence of the parent or the legally appointed guardian of the juvenile. All further queries too are considered in their presence only.
    • The Probation Officer who is handling the case will help the child or juvenile or his parents or guardian to completely fill the Social Investigation Forms.
    • During initial and subsequent questioning sessions and probe, the juvenile or child to be treated fairly with extreme care and respect.
    • The child or the juvenile will be given all the rights pertaining to this privacy and confidentiality.
    • The police officer or social volunteers involved in the case should ensure that at no point of time, the child or juvenile is harassed in order to get the truth from them or forced upon to give testimony in a case.
    • During the first discussion or interrogation, the Child Welfare Officer and all social workers concerned in the case should create a very warm ambience for the child or juvenile and ensure that all his basic needs like food, clothing and medical care are attended to, promptly.
    • The Special Juvenile Police Unit should clearly and patiently explain to the child or juvenile, all the charges that he has been booked for, in a manner that is easily comprehendible for the child.
  • During the first contact, the Child Welfare Officer will gather all information related to the juvenile and the case and make a note of the same in the register designated for that purpose.
  • If a child or juvenile has been booked for a serious offence, (equivalent to being awarded a punishment of 7 years imprisonment for adults), then the Child Welfare Officer has the full right to keep him under custody for the specified time limit.
  • If a child or juvenile has not conducted any serious offence, but the Child Welfare Officer of the Special Juvenile Unit thinks it is necessary to keep him under custody, the concerned officers must ensure that the juvenile is treated properly and should seek necessary permission from the Board, as per applicable rules.
  • If a child or juvenile has not been booked for a serious offence and the Child Welfare Officer does not think it is essential to apprehend a child, then the Officer should keep the parents as the legal guardian of the child informed about sending all the case-related information to the Board. The Board has the final authority to call the child or juvenile and his parents or guardian to the court for all further investigations and hearings.
  • When the child or juvenile is taken under police custody, the Child Welfare officer of the Special Juvenile Unit conducts all the initial investigations pertaining to the case and hands over the kid to the Board if the kid is need of protection or the kid is a juvenile who has done an act that is not as per law.
  • In case of a juvenile being booked, a very serious offence like murder or rape or if the juvenile has committed a serious sin with the accompaniment of adults, the Child Welfare Officer of the respective district or the Special Juvenile Unit should immediately register a case and file a FIR (First Information Report).
  • The FIR should be filed using reasonable style of language and should not contain overtly defamatory content about the child or juvenile.
  • When police personnel keep the child or juvenile under apprehension, for actions committed against the law, they should treat the child very carefully and should not harass or torture him in any way. The Child Welfare Officer should always wear civil clothes always while dealing with the kid except at the time, when the kid is taken under custody. Use of handcuffs, band or chains should be strictly avoided when the child is handed over to the Board, Juvenile Homes or the respective Committee. If the child or juvenile is a girl, women police personnel should always accompany her.
  • It is the duty of the Child Welfare officer or the Special Juvenile Unit to ensure that the child’s photograph is not leaked out to the media, dossiers or search slips are not opened in the police station and that the child is not subjected to any biometric or finger print test.
  • It is the duty of the Child Welfare Officer or the Special Juvenile Unit to ensure that police personnel do not take custody of the child or juvenile before sunrise or after sunset, except in circumstances where it is obviously necessary.
  • A child or juvenile should be handed over to the Board by furnishing the following documents:
    • Details of juvenile like address, date when he or she was taken into custody, offence committed, venue where the juvenile was kept under custody and reasons for delay if any, for the juvenile to be presented to the Board.
    • Photocopy of Intimation letter sent by the Special Juvenile Unit to the parents, guardian of the child or the probation officer dealing with the case.
    • A complete list of articles that were taken from the child or juvenile when he or she was taken into custody.
    • Photocopy of FIR (First Information Report) filed in case of juveniles committing serious offence.
  • In case of juveniles who have committed small offences, they will be rebuked by the Special Child Officer at the Special Juvenile Unit or at the police station. In other cases, they will be moved over or retained in Juvenile Homes, Institutions or observation homes as per the rules.
  • When a child or juvenile has been booked for committing a serious offence, then this parents or guardian will be given all necessary information about representing the child in court or be given the necessary permission to meet their appointed lawyer, before the kid is presented in the court.
  • If, on the day when the child is presented to the Board, the entire Board is not available, the juvenile or child will be presented before a single person who will act as per the regulations prescribed in the Act and a directive will be issued by him. This directive will then be validated by the Board members when they meet next.
  •  Only voluntary organisations that come forward to do social work like counselling, probation, case work etc., are approved by the Government of India. These organisations will assist the Special Child Welfare Officer or the Special Juvenile Unit to handle all issues related to the case and safe custody of the child. They can help in investigations, creating a safe ambience for the child, presenting him before the Board and all related activities.
  • Conventions related to the Child Rights should be strictly followed by the investigating officers and the child’s interest and safety should be top priority always.
  • It is the duty of the Special Juvenile Unit to keep updated the State Nodal Office on a regular monthly basis about the updates of the cases. State Nodal Office includes of office of the Joint Commissioner of Police, Nanak Pura in New Delhi and special police units designated for women and kids.

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