Notes on Juvenile Courts
Juvenile courts have been established in some states to try and convict specifically juvenile delinquents. The first juvenile court was established in Calcutta in 1922, followed by Bombay in 1927 and by Madras in 1930.
Since then, some more states have also created such courts. The methods used by the juvenile courts are quite different from those used by the adult criminal courts. Generally, the presiding magistrates of these courts are female magistrates.
Police officers in official uniform are not permitted in these courts. In trial also, complete secrecy is maintained. Members of the public are not permitted to be present at the sittings of the juvenile courts, except by special permission.
Lawyers are not entitled to appear in any case before the juvenile courts. However, if a juvenile court is of the opinion that in the public interest, the appearance of a legal practitioner is necessary, he is authorised to appear in ordinary dress in particular cases.
The conviction by this court does not affect the trial for another crime in some other court. The main features of the juvenile courts are: informality of procedure, de-emphasis on deterrent or retributive justice, protection and rehabilitation of juveniles, and use of socialised treatment measures.
Structurally, the juvenile courts are an integral part of the judicial hierarchy, as all appeals from juvenile courts are forwarded to higher adult courts.
The methods used for the disposal of cases by the juvenile courts generally are: restoring delinquents to guardians, release after admonition, imposition of fine, and release on probation, commitment to reformatories, schools and portals, and imprisonment.