The Children Act, 1960
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THE CHILDREN ACT, 1960 1*ACT NO. 60 OF 1960[26th December, 1960.]An Act to provide for the care, protection, maintenance, welfare, training, education and rehabilitation of neglected or delinquent children and for the trial of delinquent children in the Union territories.BE it enacted by Parliament in the Eleventh Year of the Republic of India as follows:--CHAPPRELIMINARYCHAPTER IPRELIMINARY1.Short title, extent and commencement.1. Short title, extent and commencement. (1) This Act may be called the Children Act, 1960.(2) It extends to all the Union territories.(3) It shall come into force in any Union territory on such date 2* as the Administrator may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint and different dates may be appointed for different areas thereof.2.Definitions.2. Definitions. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,--(a) "Administrator" means the administrator of a Union territory, whether called a Lieutenant Governor, a Chief Commissioner or by any other name;(b) "begging" means--(i) soliciting or receiving alms in a public place or entering on any private premises for the purpose of soliciting or receiving alms, whether under the pretence of singing, dancing, fortune-telling, performing tricks or selling articles or otherwise;(ii) exposing or exhibiting with the object of obtaining or extorting alms any sore, wound, injury, deformity or disease, whether of himself or of any other person or of an animal;(iii) allowing oneself to be used as an exhibit for the purpose of soliciting or receiving alms;
[See footnote 1 for this section](c) "Board" means a Child Welfare Board constituted under section 4;(d) "brothel", "prostitute", "prostitution" and "public place" shall have the meanings respectively assigned to them in the Suppression of Immoral Traffic in Women and Girls Act, 1956 (104 of 1956);(e) "child" means a boy who has not attained the age of sixteen years or a girl who has not aftained the age of eighteen years;(f) "children's court" means a court constituted under section 5;(g) "children's home" means an institution established or certified by the Administrator under section 9 as a children's home;(h) "competent authority" means, in relation to neglected children, a Board constituted under section 4 and, in relation to delinquent children a children's court constituted under section 5, and where no such Board or children's court has been constituted, includes any court empowered under sub-section (2) of section 7 to exercise the powers conferred on a Board or children's court;(i) "dangerous drug" shall have the meaning assigned to it in the Dangerous Drugs Act, 1930 (2 of 1930);(j) "delinquent child" means a child who has been found to have committed an offence;1*[(jj) "fit person" or "fit institution" means any person or institution (not being a police station or jail) found fit by the competent authority to receive and take care of a child entrusted to his or its care and protection on the terms and conditions specified by the competent authority;](k) "guardian" in relation to a child, includes any person who, in the opinion of the competent authority having cognizance of any proceeding in relation to a child, has, for the time being, the actual charge of, or control over, that child;(l) "neglected child" means a child who--(i) is found begging; or (ii) is found without having any home or settled place of abode or any ostensible means of subsistence or is found destitute, whether he is an orphan or not; or
[See footnote 2 for this section](iii) has a parent or guardian who is unfit 1*[or unable] to exercise or does not exercise proper care and control over the child; or (iv) lives in a brothel or with a prostitute or frequently goes to any place used for the purpose of prostitution, or is found to associate with any prostitute or any other person who leads an immoral, drunken or depraved life;(m) "observation home" means any institution or place established or recognised by the Administrator under section 11 as an observation home;(n) "offence" means an offence punishable under any law for the time being in force;1*[(nn) "place of safety" means any place or institution (not being a police station or jail), the person in charge of which is willing temporarily to receive and take care of a child and which in the opinion of the competent authority may be a place of safety for the child;](o) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act;(p) "probation officer" means an officer appointed as a probation officer under this Act or under the Probation of Offenders Act, 1958 (20 of 1958);(q) "special school" means an institution established or certified by the Administrator under section 10;(r) "supervision", in relation to a child placed under the care of any parent, guardian or other 2*[fit person or fit institution] under this Act, means the supervision of that child by a probation officer for the purpose of ensuring that the child is properly looked after and that the conditions imposed by the competent authority are complied with;(s) all words and expressions used but not defined in this Act and defined in the 3*[Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974),] shall have the meanings assigned to them in that Code.3.Continuation of inquiry in respect of child who has ceased to bechild.3. Continuation of inquiry in respect of child who has ceased to be child. Where an inquiry has been initiated against a child and during the course of such inquiry the child ceases to be such, then, notwithstanding anything contained in this Act or in any other law for the time being in force, the inquiry may be continued and orders may be made in respect of such person as if such person had continued to be a child.
[See footnote 3 for this section]CHAPCOMPETENT AUTHORITIES AND INSTITUTIONS FOR CHILDRENCHAPTER IICOMPETENT AUTHORITIES AND INSTITUTIONS FOR CHILDREN4.Child Welfare Boards.4. Child Welfare Boards. (1) The Administrator may, by notification in the Official Gazette, constitute for any area specified in the notification, one or more Child Welfare Boards for exercising the powers and discharging the duties conferred or imposed on such Board in relation to neglected children under this Act.(2) A Board shall consist of a chairman and such other members as the Administrator thinks fit to appoint, of whom not less than one shall be a woman; and every such member shall be vested with the powers of a magistrate under the 1*[Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974)].(3) The Board shall function as a Bench of magistrates and shall have the powers conferred by the 2*[Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974), on a Metropolitan Magistrate or, as the case may be, a Judicial Magistrate of the first class].5.Children's courts.5. Children's courts. (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the 1*[Code of Criminal procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974)], the Administrator may, by notification in the Official Gazette, constitute for any area specified in the notification, one or more children's courts for exercising the powers and discharging the duties conferred or imposed on such court in relation to delinquent children under this Act.3*[(2) a children's court shall consist of such number of Metropolitan Magistrates or Judicial Magistrates of the first class, as the case may be, forming a Bench as the Administrator thinks fit to appoint, of whom one shall be designated as the principal magistrate;and every such Bench shall have the powers conferred by the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974), on a Metropolitan Magistrate or, as the case may be, a Judicial Magistrate of the first class.(3) Every children's court shall be assisted by a panel of two honorary social workers possessing such qualifications as may be prescribed, of whom at least one shall be a woman, and such panel shall be appointed by the Administrator.]6.Procedure, etc., in relation to Boards and children's courts.6. Procedure, etc., in relation to Boards and children's courts.(1) In the event of any difference of opinion among the members of a Board or among the magistrates of a children's court, the opinion of the majority shall prevail, but where there is no such majority, the opinion
[See footnote 4 for this section]of the chairman or of the 1*[principal magistrate], as the case may be, shall prevail.(2) A Board or children's court may act notwithstanding the absence of any member of the Board or, as the case may be, any magistrate of the children's court, and no order made by the Board or children's court shall be invalid by reason only of the absence of any member or magistrate, as the case may be, during any stage of the proceeding.(3) No person shall be appointed as a member of the Board or as a magistrate in the children's court unless he has, in the opinion of the Administrator, special knowledge of child psychology and child welfare.7.Power of Board and children's court.7. Power of Board and children's court. (1) Where a Board or a children's court has been constituted for any area, such Board or court shall, notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force but save as otherwise expressly provided in this Act, have power to deal exclusively with all proceedings under this Act relating to neglected children or delinquent children, as the case may be:2*[Provided that a Board or a children's court may, if it is of opinion that it is necessary so to do having regard to the circumstances of the case, transfer any proceedings to any children's court or Board, as the case may be:Provided further that where there is any difference of opinion between a Board and a children's court regarding the transfer of any proceedings under the first proviso, it shall be referred to the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate or, as the case may be, the Chief Judicial Magistrate for decision, and in a case where the District Magistrate is functioning as a Board or a children's court, such difference of opinion shall...
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