IMA supports the recent amendments to the Juvenile Justice Act
Believes that judicial action must be continually reinforced to protect the rights and health of children and minors
The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 relates to children requiring protection and care, and was launched by the Ministry of Women and Child Development and initiated on January 15, 2016.
An amendment has just been passed of the Act modifying section 77 and 78, relating to drugs and children. The amendment to section 77 clearly states that anyone giving or a child to receive any intoxicating liquor, psychotropic substance, narcotic drug, or tobacco products, unless on the explicit instructions of a qualified medical practitioner, will be punishable with imprisonment of up to seven years and would be liable to fines which may extend up to one lakh rupees.
Modifications to section 78 mention that anyone using a child for peddling, carrying, vending, smuggling, or supplying any intoxicating liquor, psychotropic substance, or narcotic drugs could be liable to similar punitive action.
The amendments reinforce the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Product (Proposition of Advertisement & Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act 2003 forbids cigarette or tobacco product sale to anyone below the age of 18 years in areas within a 100-meter radius of school areas. This act didn’t work as intended as the fine imposed was not significant at only Rs. 200.
Speaking on the issue, Dr S S Agarwal, National President, IMA and Padma Shri Awardee, Dr K K Aggarwal, Hony. Secretary General, IMA in a joint statement said, “Minors are increasingly being found consuming tobacco, alcohol and even narcotic drugs in our country. The high stress levels faced by the 21st century teenager is to blame for this dangerous and worrying trend. Cigarettes are openly sold close to educational institutions due to the nominal fine it is associated with. It is the responsibility of parents, teachers and the medical fraternity to counsel children about the serious implications teenage smoking and drinking has on their future health and well being”.
Provision of drugs or psychotropic substances is an offence under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Act. Overall it is critical that judicial action be continually reinforced to protect the rights and health of children and minors. The Amendments to the Juvenile Justice Act are a further step in this direction.