The Juvenile Delinquency problem involves millions of youth. The prevailing problem in modern societies is the deterioration of moral character among the youth. It has been observed that the tendency among youth people to commit crime and indulge in anti-social activities is increasing. Juvenile Delinquency involves wrong doing by a child or a young person who is under an age specified by statute. Delinquency is simply the first step on the road to adult crimes or it is a gateway to adult criminality. In India, the concept is confined to the violation of ordinary penal law of the country so far as the jurisdiction of the Juvenile Court is concerned. Under Section 82, upto 7 years of age there is an absolute irrefutable presumption that the child is ‘Doli incapax’. This immunity is granted to the children below 7 years on the pragmatic approach of the state that children below seven years are not capable hence they donot have the capacity to have the requisite “mens-rea”.
Under Section 83, if the child doesnot attain maturity of mind the burden of proof lies with the child. To make themliable they must attain maturity of mind and this is called “ mischevious discretion” under English law. The children of this age will have to prove that there was no maturity of mind when the act committed and therefore, no mens-rea.
In UK, the first court set up in Chicago in 1899 to address the issue of juvenile cries and punishments. It peaked in 1994. In 2002, 2.3 million juveniles were arrested for committing crimes. The 1908 Children Act created a separate and distinct system of justice board in the juvenile court. The 1993 Children and Young Persons Act formally required the court to take account of welfare consideration in all cases involving child offenders and the 1969 Children and Young Persons Act advocated the phasing out of criminal in favour of civil proceedings.
A child under the age of 10 years shouldnot be arrested according to Section 16 of Children and Young Person Act, if a juvenile arrested and later he turns out to be below the age of 10 years he should be released immediately according to Section 34(2) of Police and Criminal Evidence Act.
A Child may be only kept in police custody for 72 hour and as soon as possible the constable should make arrangements for the investigations to take place.