A Bill to secure to the children health, nutrition, education, employment, and protection against abuse as an extension of the Basic Human Rights and to create a child friendly environment for growth

Be it enacted by the Legislature of Karnataka State in the Fifty-sixth Year of the Republic of India, as follows.



1. Short title, Extent and Commencement: - (1) This Act may be called the Protection and Welfare of Children Act, 2005.
(2) It shall extend to the whole of the State of Karnataka.
(3) It shall come into force from such date as the State Government may by notification specify and different dates may be specified for different areas and different provisions of the Act

2. Definitions, - (1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,
(a) “Government” means the Government of Karnataka;
(b) “Authorized officer” means an officer authorized by the State Government to perform a duty or function under the provisions of this Act;
(c) “A care giver” means an individual, organization, a body of people or a member or employee of such organization or body, appointed to take care of a child in need and includes a staff member of any residential facility for children, an employee of an educational institution, a nursery, crèche, clinic, hospital, sports club, recreational or other facility providing services to children;

(d) “A place for care of children” means any place mentioned in clause C and includes any other place which is a place for the care and custody of children;
(e) “Certificate” means the certificate of registration granted under section 48 (a) of this Act;
(f) “Child” means any person who has not completed eighteen years of age unless any other law in force specifies otherwise or unless otherwise indicated in specific provisions of this Act;
(g) “Child in case of child labour” means any person who has not completed fourteen years of age;
(h) ‘Child labour” means all forms of labour involving children below the age of fourteen;

(i)“Child in need” means a child whose rights are being violated or who is in need of special attention and/or protection and shall include, a juvenile as defined in the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2000;a child labour, a street child; a child who has been dedicated, a foetus, an adopted child, child in a home, registered or otherwise ,a child in foster-care, a child in situation of abuse, a differently able child, child of a prisoner, child of commercial sex workers, child who is vulnerable, a child whose parents are separated or divorced, a child who has an illness or disease or ailment which has a special stigma like HIV, Leprosy attached to it,.

(j) “Child abuse” means any maltreatment, whether habitual or not, of the child which includes any of the following:
(a) Psychological or physical abuse, neglect, cruelty, sexual abuse and emotional maltreatment;
(b) Any act by deeds or words which debases, degrades of demeans the intrinsic worth and dignity of a child as a human being;
(c) Unreasonable deprivation of his basic needs for survival such as food and shelter, or failure to immediately give medical treatment to an injured child resulting in serious impairment of his growth and development or in his incapacity or death;
(k) “Child trafficking” means the procurement, recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons within or across borders, by means of threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of giving or receiving payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for monetary gain or otherwise;

(l) “Children’s Home” means an institution, whether called an orphanage, home or by any other name and where one or more children reside temporarily or otherwise;
(m)“Children’s Court” means the Court constituted under Section 41 of this Act;
(n)“Competent Authority” means the Secretary to the Government in charge of the Department of Women and Child Development;
(o)“Commercial exploitation” means using children for any form of soliciting or publishing or making them available to any person for any commercial purpose, or for sale of the child or any part of its body, including blood.
(p) “Commission” means the State Commission for Children constituted under section 37 of this Act;

(q) “Dedication” means the performance of any act or ceremony by whatever name called, by which a girl child is dedicated to the service of any deity, idol, object of worship, temple, other religious institution or place of worship;
(r) “Differently-abled children” includes children with disabilities, learning difficulties and associated disorders like Autism;
(s) “Director” means the Director of Women and Child Development;
(t) ‘Fund” means the State Children’s Fund set up under Section 54 of the Act;
(u) “Guardian” in relation to a child means his natural guardian or any other person who is legally authorized for the purpose of having the actual charge or control over the child
(v) “High risk areas” means areas notified by the State Government as vulnerable to child exploitation.

(x) “Prescribed medical authority” means the medical authority specified by rules to certify the age of a child.
(y) “Prescribed” means prescribed by rules under this Act;
(z) ”Sexual offence” covers every form of sexual abuse of a child that is prohibited under the Act and for purposes of awarding deterrent punishment means,
i. “Grave sexual assault” which covers different types of intercourse: vaginal, oral, anal, use of objects, forcing minors to have sex with each other, deliberately causing injury to the sexual organs, making children pose for pornographic photos or films;
ii. “Sexual assault” which covers sexual touching with the use of any body part or object, voyeurism, exhibitionism, showing pornographic pictures of films to minors, making children watch others engaged in sexual activity, issuing of threats to sexually abuse a minor;
iii. “Incest” which is the commission of a sexual offence by an adult on a child who is a relative or related by ties of adoption;


3. Declaration of Child Rights,- (1) The provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child as acceded to by the Government of India are hereby declared to be part of the law of the State except where they pertain to the Central Government or to any other authority which is outside the purview of the State Government.
(2) It shall be the duty and responsibility of the State Government to respect and ensure that the Rights of the Child as declared and enumerated in the Convention, are protected and guaranteed to every child within the territory of Karnataka.
Provided that nothing contained in this section shall be deemed to prevent the State Government from specifying higher standards.

4. Rights of the Child: - (a) On and from the date of commencement of this Act every child in the State shall have the following special rights, namely,-
(i) Right to parental care
(ii) Right to good health;
(iii) Right to nutrition;
(iv) Right against every kind of forced labor;
(v) Right against all forms of exploitation;

5. Obligations of the State,- (1) The State shall ensure that children and the young are given opportunities and facilities to grow in conditions of dignity and liberty, that childhood and youth are protected against moral and material abandonment;
(2) The State shall promote with special care the educational interests of children, especially from the under privileged and weaker sections of society including the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes;
(3) The State shall,-
(a) Regard the raising of the level of nutrition and the standard of living and the improvement of public health of children as among its primary duties;
(b) Take adequate measures for the proper implementation of the Rights of the Child included in the Convention and to prevent any discrimination, exploitation or abuse of the child on any ground.
(4)All authorities -whether public or private, social welfare institutions, and legislative bodies shall, while undertaking any action concerning children, take the best interest of the child as the primary consideration;

6. Freedoms of the Child:
- (1) Every child in the State shall have the following freedom as essential to their development
a. Freedom to enjoy the routine life cycle of the childhood;
b. Freedom to play at least for one hour every day;
c. Freedom to learn according to his taste, skill and talent;
d. Freedom to participate in sports and games;
e. Freedom to join NCC, NSS and such other activities;
f. Freedom to participate in cultural activities.
(2) No individual or institution shall interfere with the basic freedom of the child in its routine life cycle;
(3)No educational institution shall admit a toddler for regular schooling such as reading, writing or cramming;
(4) No child who is attending an educational institution for studies shall be given any home task by such institution so as to enable the child to play and enjoy his childhood after school hours;
(5)It shall be the duty of every parent of a child to allow it to play and enjoy for a reasonable period of time during the day;
(6)No person shall employ a child as a domestic servant or in any establishment in any manner whatsoever which may deny him the enjoyment of the childhood;

(7)The State Government shall conduct a periodic medical examination of every child studying in any educational institution, falling under its jurisdiction from time to time and take such remedial measures as are recommended by the Medical Authorities;
(8) The State Government shall conduct a survey from time to time in respect of the freedom available to children and prepare a report thereon and shall cause such report to be laid before the Legislature.

7. Rights of the Girl Child: - (1) Every girl child shall have the Right against intra family discrimination against the girl child by the members of the family.
(2) The existence of unfavourable practices against the girl child such as female infanticide, violent portrayal of the girl child, barriers to knowledge and development of self esteem shall be dispensed with;
(3) No girl child shall be:
a. denied of access to education, development of skills, participation in co curricular and extracurricular activities what so ever;
b. denied of minimum level of nutrition and access to health services and knowledge and control of her own body;
c. denied participation in socio-economic life of the community and denial of knowledge about the existing social, economic, religious, cultural and political conditions of the society.
d. exploited in household activities as unpaid labour;
(4) All forms of violence against girl child, whether physical or mental including sexual abuse and harassment are prohibited;


8. .Free and Compulsory Education, - (1) The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all the children of up to fourteen years of age in the State.
(2) The State shall strive to provide free education up to the age of 16 years for every child.
7. Admission in schools: No child shall be denied admission to any school on any of the following grounds, namely,-
(a) That the child belongs to a particular race, religion, caste, colour, language or place of birth
(b) That the father is not available;
(c) Absence of relevant documentation;
(d) The child is suffering from HIV or AIDS;
(e) Belongs to marginalized communities;
(f) Suffers from any illness; or
(g) That the child is differently abled.

8. Counselling: (1) Every school shall appoint one or more trained counsellors for providing counselling facilities to children.
Provided that in the case of combined schools, there shall be at least one male and one female counsellor for the boy students and girl students respectively.
(2) In all deserving cases the State Government shall provide assistance to schools to achieve this.

9. School Curriculum,- The State Government shall endeavour to include the following in the school curricula, namely,-
(a) Holistic education by ensuring universal application of joyful learning processes;
(b) Child rights and gender justice and at least forty eight ours of instruction every year shall be exclusively devoted to the teaching and discussing all these matters for the children of Standard V and above;
(c) Health awareness including malaria, AIDS, personal hygiene, nutrition, family life education, communicable diseases, alcoholism, substance abuse, etc., irrespective of the stream of education for the children of Standard V and above;
(d) Health applied education towards holistic health shall be compulsorily included in all schools with, among other things, yoga, pranayama and meditation, in the physical education curriculum. This shall be applicable to all students.

10. Student Councils: (1) All schools shall have elected Student Councils or other mechanism such as School Parliament to foster spirit of participatory democracy in the students. 51
(2) Nothing contained in sub-section (1) shall apply to students in classes below the VIII Standard.

11. Other Facilities: (1) It shall be mandatory that every school, whether public or private, aided or unaided, to provide the following facilities to the students, namely,-
a. Safe and adequate drinking water;
b. adequate toilet facilities separately for boys and girls;
c. adequate playground facilities commensurate with the strength of the students; including indoor games;
d. infrastructure including class rooms, sitting rooms, library, seminar halls, laboratories, etc commensurate with the curricular requirements;
e. proper and well equipped teaching aids to provide effective instructions to students;
f. all other facilities that are necessary for the students for the development of their integrated and holistic personality.
g. support to children with disabilities and challenges.
(2) The State Government shall prescribe the norms and standard of facilities to be provided by the schools.


12. Eradication of Child Illiteracy: (1)The State Government shall work towards the goal of universal elementary education and eradication of child illiteracy within a period of five years from the commencement of this Act.
(2)The State shall endeavour to make all children up to the age of eighteen years literate by end of the year 2010.
(3) The State shall prepare a comprehensive Plan of Action for achieving this which may include provision for alternate schooling including non-formal education, vocational and livelihood-skills training, and shall create the necessary infrastructure and an enabling environment in order to realize the goal.

13. Guidelines for Action: (1) The State shall lay down guidelines for early childhood care and education and for all pre-school educational institutions for children, including registration and regulation of standards.
(2)The State shall lay down guidelines to provide adequate facilities towards achieving the goal of eradicating illiteracy to all the institutions and organizations involved in this endeavor.
(3) The State shall make arrangements for enlisting the services of retired teachers, pensioners and philanthropic members of the public interested in serving the cause of educating the children.


14. Child in the womb,- (1) Every child in the womb of mother has a right to survival, safe birth and protection in the infant stage.
(2) A child at birth has the right to mother’s milk i.e. colostrums feeding;

15. Specific measures to protect child health: (1) The State shall take specific measures for protecting the health of children in the State which shall include:
a) Providing for the rights of children in the womb and at birth
b) Providing for palliative and terminal care for infants and children with life threatening and terminal illness like cancer and HIV/AIDS.
c) Taking effective steps so that parents do not transmit the HIV virus to their child.
d) Protecting children from malaria and all other avoidable illness and diseases.
e) Providing for the treatment, education and integration of all children with leprosy.
f) Making adequate provision for issues of substance, drug and alcohol abuse in children 52

16. Right to Adequate Nutrition: The State shall make provision for adequate nutrition for every child and take the following measures:
a) Every child shall be provided with balanced diet.
b) District and Primary Health Centres shall be provided with the sachets of ORS and other such nutritious products;
c) Hospitals should essentially have built in catering system with milk, bread, eggs and dalrice;
d) Nutrition therapy and nutrition rehabilitation centres should be established at suitable places;
e) Supply of food rich with Vitamin A shall be ensured to avoid the calamity of blindness;
f) The parents shall provide nutritious food to their children;

17. Mandatory Immunisation: As part of the ongoing Immunisation Programme of the State, mandatory immunisation with Hepatitis B vaccine in infancy MMR vaccine in children and Rubella vaccine in adolescent girls shall be introduced.

18. Maternity leave: The State shall endeavour to make it compulsory possible for all sectors of employment to allow maternity leave of six weeks for women employees including adoptive mothers and single parents.

19. Creches: Crèches and day care centres for infants and children of working mothers in all sectors of employment should be set up at the work site or close to the same, in cities and villages, to the maximum extent of available resources.

20. Health Cards: The State shall ensure the creation and maintenance of comprehensive Health Cards inclusive of growth and development, immunisation and other records for all infants and children including those in crèches, homes and schools, and migrant children.

21. Responsibilities of the public: It shall be the duty of all individuals, organizations, institutions, etc., to keep their immediate environment clean and free of garbage, faeces, and other items harmful to children.


22. Prohibition of Child Labour:
(1) Child labour shall be prohibited in the State for all children under the age of fourteen years.
(2) The State shall strive to eradicate the child labour up to the age of 16 years over the period of 10 years from the year in which this Act comes in to force.
Explanation: For the purposes of this chapter child labour shall include:
a. All forms of hazardous and non-hazardous employment as defined in the Child Labour
(Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986;
b. All forms of domestic employment such as employment in households, doing work of a domestic nature, either temporarily, permanently, piece-rated or part-time;
c. All forms of self-employment labour such as rag picking, plastic bag selling, nut selling, running errands, carrying load of shoppers, etc.

23. Release and Rehabilitation: (1) Every child identified as a child labour shall be immediately released from employment and placed in a Children’s Home or a State run institution or any other place identified under the Plan of Action.
(2) The State shall ensure that a satisfactory Rehabilitation Programme is in place before taking action under this section.

24. Trafficking in Children for Employment and plan of action: (1) Trafficking in children, for the purpose of employment is prohibited;
(2) The State shall formulate a comprehensive Plan of Action to eradicate all forms of child labour within a period of five years from the commencement of this Act. 53
(3) The plan shall include schemes for the identification, release and rehabilitation of the child labourers, their education, integration into society and imparting skills and vocational training to them and the prevention of child labour.
(4) The Plan of Action shall be implemented phase-wise over this period of five years.
(5) There shall be one or more Child Labour Vigilance Officer appointed in each Taluka to monitor the implementation of the Plan of Action and to carry out such other duties as the Government may specify.


25. Prohibition of Child Abuse: All forms of abuse of children is prohibited and every child shall be assured of a safe environment;
Explanation: A safe environment is such environment as will protect the child from abuse and his/her development is nurtured.

27. Sexual Assault on child: In the trial of every case of child abuse,
(a) Testimony of the child victim shall be treated on par with the testimony of a child rape victim under Section 375 of the IPC, as laid down by the Supreme Court of India;
(b) When a sexual or grave sexual assault is committed, the need to ascertain whether a child needs to be medically examined or not shall be decided by the investigating authorities in consultation with a professional social worker/ counselor;
(c) The guilt against the child victim is proved, the child victim concerned shall be paid appropriate compensation out of the State Children Fund.

28. Obligations of Person in custody of child: (1) Any person who not being related to the child by blood comes to keep with or reside, wholly or partly or in any form, with any child/children shall inform the fact of such custody immediately to the Competent Authority;
(2) It shall be the responsibility of such person to give the information either in person and obtain acknowledgement or send the information by Registered Post Acknowledgement Due
Provided that any person having so come in custody of a child or children before the commencement of this Act shall give such information within three months from the date the commencement of this Act to the Competent Authority;

(3) The competent authority shall have the power to authorize any person to inspect and check the child/children and to submit a report with such recommendation as he considers necessary in each case and such authorized person shall also have the power of search and seizure; In cases where it is found necessary the Competent Authority shall remove the child and place him in a Children’s Home or a State run institution;
(4) Nothing in this section shall apply to cases where reasonability exists such as when the child/children are staying with their friends or visiting them on holidays for short period, or students are in a group, or the child is legally adopted, etc;

29. Obligations of Boarding and Lodging establishments: (1) All hotels, and other establishments which provide boarding or lodging or any similar facility shall ensure that children are safe and not at risk of child abuse, within their premises including all adjoining areas having access to that establishment;
(2) No child shall be allowed to enter any room of a hotel or establishment, which provides boarding or lodging or any similar facility unless the child is registered as staying in that room with family, relatives or person related by blood
Provided that nothing in this sub-section will be deemed to apply to reasonable areas such as group of school children accompanied by a teacher, children who may be staying with their friends and their families

(3) All Hotels and other establishments which provide boarding or lodging or any similar facility shall ensure that no child has access to any internet facilities which are not fitted with filters and to any objectionable material including through film or videos, disc-players, cable or any other medium provided by that establishment;
(4)The Owner and the Manager of the Hotel or establishment shall be responsible for every case of violation of the regulation of this section.

30. Offences of tourism related child sexual offences to be cognizable and non- bailable, - Not withstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force all offences of tourism related child sexual abuse, shall be cognizable and non-bailable.

31. Commercial Exploitation of Children: (1) Any form of soliciting or publicizing or making children available to any adult or even other children for purposes of commercial exploitation, including hosting websites, taking suggestive or obscene photographs, providing materials, soliciting customers, guiding tourists or other clients, appointing touts, using agents, or any other form which may lead to abuse of a child is prohibited.
(2) It shall be mandatory for the developers of films and /or photographs to inform the police whenever he finds a photo or film developed by him shows sexual or obscene depiction of children.
(3) The Airport authorities, Border Police, Railway Police, Traffic Police shall have power to detain any adult person travelling with a child under suspicious circumstances for questioning and to report the case to the nearest police station.

32. Special Regulations for children of prisoners and sex workers, - The State shall make special provision for protection of the children of prisoners and commercial sex workers.

33. Use of Children in drug trade, -
(1) The use of children in the illicit procurement, trafficking and sale of narcotic, and psychotropic and alcoholic substances is prohibited.
(2) Inducing a child to beg or gamble or to assist in the gambling trade is prohibited.
(3) All offences under this section shall be cognizable and non-bailable.

34. Sale of Children: (1) Sale of children under the garb of adoption or otherwise is prohibited,
Explanation: For the purposes of this Act, sale of children takes place:
a) When there is trading, i.e. selling children;
b) When a pregnant mother executes an affidavit of consent for adoption for a consideration;
c) When a person, agency, establishment or child-caring institution recruits women or couples to bear children for the purposes of child trafficking;
d) When a doctor, hospital, or clinic official or employee, nurse, midwife, local civil registrar or any other person creates birth records for the purpose of child trafficking; or
e) When a person engages in the act of finding children among low-income families, hospitals, clinics, nurseries, day-care centres, or other child-caring institutions, who can be offered for the purpose of child trafficking.
(2) Sale of a body part/organ of a child is prohibited.
(3)Consent or willingness of the child shall not be a defence against a charge of offence under this section.

35. Responsibilities of the State, - (1) The State shall provide for the setting up of one or more Victim Assistance Units, which shall facilitate the child to deal with the trauma of abuse and assist the child in processes involved with appearing as a witness before any court or authority handling a case of abuse of a child
(2)The State shall carry out child sensitization programs for police officers at all levels, which shall include an orientation on child right laws. Child right laws and methods of handling child abuse related cases shall also be specifically included in the Police Training School curriculum;
(3)The State shall undertake child sensitization training for those involved in healing and rehabilitation and other assistance programs for children who are victims and promote programs of information support and training for such children;

36. Powers of Government to appoint stooges, -The Government shall have the power to appoint persons to go undercover and pose as prospective clients for child prostitutes, 55 as employers of child labour etc. and nothing done in the course of such operations shall be construed as a violation of the provisions of this Act.

37. Child Sexual Trafficking:
(1) Child prostitution is prohibited.
(2) Notwithstanding any custom or law to the contrary, the dedication of a minor girl as a devadasi, whether before or after the commencement of this Act, and whether she has consented to such dedication or not, is hereby declared unlawful, void, and to be of no effect and any minor girl child so dedicated shall not thereby be deemed to have become incapable of entering into a valid marriage;
(3) It shall be the duty of the State to take all steps shall be taken at the protective home to restrict or even deny the visiting rights of any one who may be considered to be a perpetrator, including the parent of the child
(4) The State shall prepare a comprehensive Plan of Action for this purpose, which shall include
a) The prevention of child prostitution
b) Removing all child prostitutes from their existing place of exploitation and to ensure that they are rehabilitated and integrated into society and
c) Providing education and livelihood skills to such children.


38. Rights of the girl Child:
(1) The State shall develop and implement comprehensive policies, plans of action and programs for the survival, protection, development and advancement of the girl child to promote and protect the full enjoyment of her human rights and to ensure equal opportunities for girls and all these plans should form the integral part of the total development process;
(2) The State shall ensure elimination of all forms of discrimination against the girl child which result in harmful and unethical practices, such as pre-natal sex selection and female foeticide and infanticide and towards this the State shall promote and support all endeavours that help give the girl child a sense of self-esteem, which would include gender sensitisation programmes at all levels. Special attention shall be focused on taking strict action against eve teasing and on all conditions which create an unsafe atmosphere for girls;
(3) The State shall encourage educational institutions and the media to adopt and project non-stereo typed images of girls and boys and to eliminate child pornography and degrading and violent portrayals of the girl child;
(4) The State shall ensure dissemination of information and education to girls, regarding the physiology of reproduction, reproductive and sexual health.

35. Rights of the Differently Abled Children, - (1) The State shall endeavour to ensure that disabilities, which can be prevented in children, are prevented. Schemes to take timely preventive measures shall be introduced and these may separately cover women during pregnancy, mothers during lactation, children below the age of one, children between the ages of one and six years, and adolescent girls and boys. Initiatives may include mandatory screening of all new born babies and rubella vaccination of all pregnant women;
(2) The census of all disabled children in the State shall be updated;
(3) As for as possible, appropriate initiatives for each child shall be taken in a time bound manner to be prescribed;
(4) A scheme for providing counselling and support to parents of differently baled children shall be launched;
(5) A special plan of action on prevention, early detection and early intervention programs, inclusive education and vocational training, central/institutional and community based programs shall be evolved by the State. 56

36. Rights of Children in Difficult Circumstances: (1) The State shall endeavour, within a period of five years from the commencement of this Act, to withdraw all street children from life on the street;
(2) All street children shall be withdrawn and placed in a Children’s Home or a State run institute or any other place provided that a satisfactory rehabilitation program is in place before this is started;
(3)The Government shall formulate a Plan of Action for the education, rehabilitation and integration into society of these children;
(4)The Government shall establish and maintain, either by itself or in association with the voluntary organizations, Children Shelters in every taluka for the reception of children in difficult circumstances, their rescue and support and for coordinating subsequently their care, treatment, education, training, development and rehabilitation.


37.Constitution of the State Commission for Children:
(1) As soon as may be after the commencement of this Act the State Government shall constitute for the State a Commission to be called the State Commission for the Children.
(2)The State Commission shall consist of:
i. A Chairman being a person of eminence from the field of child welfare who has worked for the children’s rights for at least ten years
ii. Three members having sufficient knowledge and practical experience of working in areas of law, child rights, health, child psychology, care, social sciences, nutrition or education out of whom at least two shall be women;
iii. One member to be appointed from persons having experience in field of law relating to child welfare;
iv. The Chairperson of the State Commission for Women to be an ex-officio member;
v. A member of the State Human Rights Commission nominated by that Commission to be ex-officio member;
vi. The Secretary, Department of Law shall be the ex-officio secretary of the Commission.

(3)The Chairman and other members of the State Commission are to be appointed by the Government of Karnataka
(4) The term of office of the members and the Chairman of State Commission is five years;
(5)Terms and conditions of service including emoluments of the members and the Chairman of the State Commission shall be as determined y the State Government.
(6) No person shall be appointed to be Chairman and other member of the Commission nor shall continue as such if he,-
i. is adjudged insolvent by a competent court
ii. Engages during his term of office in any paid employment outside the duties of his office;
iii. Is or becomes of unsound mind and stands so declared by a competent court;\
iv. Is convicted and sentenced of imprisonment for an offence involving moral turpitude.

38. Functions of the State Commission for Children,- The Commission shall perform the following functions, namely:
a) The creation of a child friendly society;
b) Preparing and implementing a systematic plan for spreading awareness amongst different groups, mobilization, action and dialogue within civil society on child rights;
c) Formulate a development strategy for the progressive implementation of child rights covering amongst others the training of teachers, police, judiciary, etc.; 57
d) Review all State Legislations, Rules, Orders, Notifications, Schemes and all other provisions pertaining to children and recommend necessary amendments therein, to ensure that the Rights of the child are protected;
e) To monitor the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child;
f) To ensure that children become fit citizens and that all children are given the opportunity and encouraged to learn and develop thinking and participatory skills of developing and articulating ideas;

g) Set up a mechanism to hear complaints from child victims;
h) Establish norms for good parenting and evolve a strategy for achieving this;
i) Undertake and promote research in the field of child rights;
j) Prepare disaggregated data on all children in terms of category, age, sex, etc.;
k) Examine the situation regarding children particularly the status of the girl child, assess the reasons for discrimination and recommend strategies for their removal.
l) It shall carry out an awareness campaign after the commencement of the Act to appraise the public about the provisions and to solicit their cooperation. Sustained media advocacy will have to be taken up with NGOs, Women’s Groups and others to create public awareness on the children’s issues involved. Doordarshan, Radio, Private Television Channels, Cable Networks and Print Media and all other types of medial shall be used for the campaign.
m) Appropriate guidelines for the protection of children from information and material injurious to their well-being as well as harmful exposure in the mass media shall be prepared and implemented. For this purpose, the Commission, with the assistance of the State Information Department, shall set up a State Council comprising of persons from the media, and others, as may be prescribed.

39. Powers of the State Commission: The Commission shall have the following powers, namely;
a) To oversee the implementation of this Act and to advise the State Government on all matters concerning protection of children towards securing to the children their legitimate rights
b) To undertake study and research on the social conditions of children and to suggest ways of ameliorating their condition, especially of children in need
c) To direct any Children’s Home to accept any child/children in distress provided that the said Home has the facilities for taking care of the extra child/children.
d) To decide the question whether the person in question is a child or not, in case of a dispute
e) To enter and inspect any premises for the purpose of enforcing the provisions of this Act including removal of a child from such premises.
f), to delegate all or any of its powers to such officers of the Government designated as Special Officers for any purpose under the Act or entrust to such Special Officers any of its functions.

g) To file cases in the children’s court on behalf of the children whose rights are violated.

40. Procedure before the Commission,- (1) Where upon report received from an Authorised Officer or otherwise the Commission is satisfied, whether upon information received by the authorized officers or otherwise, of the violation of the rights of the child, it shall issue a notice, requiring the person or persons who the Commission has reason to believe is responsible for the violation to appear and give his say hear such person or persons and unless it decides to dismiss the case as not sustainable,
i. direct the person or persons to take steps as may be necessary in the best interests of the child; or
ii. Refer the case to the Children’s Court for adjudication or 58
iii. Refer to any other authority including the police for further investigation or enquiry or take any other action the Commission may deem fit including sending the child to a children’s home

(2) A notice under this provision shall be given –
a) By giving or tendering the notice to such person; or
b) If such person is not found, by leaving such notice at the last known place of his abode
c) Or business or by giving or tendering the same to some adult member or servant of his family, or
d) If such persons does not reside In the local area and his address elsewhere is known to the local authority, by sending the same to him by registered post and
e) If none of the means aforesaid be available, by affixing the same in some conspicuous part of such place of abode or business.
(3)The Officer-in-charge of the Police Station of the area concerned where the violation reportedly took place shall, when called upon by the Commission provide all possible assistance including removing the child from a place;

40. Authorized Officers: The State Government shall for the purpose of assisting the Children’s Commission appoint as many officers to be Authorized Officers who will receive complaints or secure information from any person regarding the violation of the rights of a child ascertain the facts and make report with recommendation for action to the commission.


41. Human Rights Courts to be Children’s Courts
,-The Human Rights Courts in each district shall be constituted as Special Courts to try all complaints and claims under this Act

42. Guiding Principles for trial of cases,- The Special Court shall in trying cases under the Act guided by the following principles, namely,-
a) Age of Innocence: A child is presumed to be innocent of any maladies or criminal intent unto the age of 7 years in all cases and up to 12 years in cases wherein he is unable to understand the consequences of his action on account of immaturity of understanding.
b) Procedural Protection of Innocence: Procedural safeguards shall be guaranteed to protect the presumption of innocence.
c) Avoidance of Harm: At all stages, from the initial contact till disposition, extreme care shall be taken to avoid any harm to the sensitivity of the child.
d) Principle of Best Interest: This principle seeks to ensure physical, emotional, intellectual, social and moral development of the child, so as to make him a useful and good citizen by ameliorating the impediments to healthy development.
e) Principle of non-stigmatizing semantics, decisions and actions: Non-stigmatizing semantics must be strictly adhered to, and the use of adversarial or accusatory words, such as arrest, remand, accused, charge sheet, trial, prosecution, warrant, summons, conviction, inmate, delinquent, neglected, custody, etc., is prohibited in the processes pertaining to the child under this Act.

f) Principle of non-waiver of rights: No waiver of rights of the child, whether by himself or the competent authority or anyone acting or claiming to act on behalf of the child is either permissible or valid. Non-exercise of a fundamental right does not amount to waiver.
g) Principle of equality: Equality of access, equality of opportunity, equality of all type is guaranteed to the child under this Act: and as such there shall be no discrimination on the basis of age, sex, place of birth, disability, race, ethnicity, status, caste, cultural practice, work, activity or behavior of the child or that of his parents or guardians, or the civil and political status of the child. 59
h) Principle of right to privacy and confidentiality: The child’s rights to privacy and confidentiality shall be protected by all means and through all stages of the proceedings.
i) Principle of fresh start: The principle of fresh start promotes new beginning for the child by ensuring erasure of his past records.
j) Principle of last resort: Institutionalization of a child will be the last resort after reasonable enquiry and that too for the minimum possible duration.
k) Burden of Proof: Whenever any offence is alleged to have been committed against a child, the burden of proving that such offence has not been committed by the accused shall lie on the accused.

l) Procedure for Children’s evidence: Whenever a child who is a victim of a crime is required to depose before any authority including this Court, the child shall not be exposed to the presence of the accused or the perpetrators of the crime.
m) Cross examination of the child witness: Whenever there is a need to cross examine a child witness, care shall be taken to see that the tender age or in case of a victim, the psychological condition of the child is taken into consideration and the Children’s Court may adopt such procedures which are fair and suitable to the child.
n) Deposit of fine before trial: Whenever the offence alleged involves a fine, in order to ensure the attendance of the accused during the proceedings and compliance of the Court’s directives and others thereafter, the Court may direct the accused to deposit
75% of the maximum fine Levi able for that offence at the beginning of the trial itself.

43. Manner of dealing with Children, - In all dealings with children, the Children’s
Court shall observe the following norms, namely, -
a. Child victims/witnesses are informed of their role in regard to court proceedings;
b. Their views are allowed to be heard and respected;
c. Inconvenience to them is minimized and their privacy is respected;
d. Delays in the proceedings are reduced;
e. Aggressive questioning or cross examination of child victims is avoided and the same, if necessary, is done through the judge;
f. Provisions are made for trials in camera;

g. The identity of the child victim is protected;
h. Child victims are prepared for the judicial process and prosecution of alleged abusers is nor rushed if a child is not ready to go to court;
i. The investigator ascertains the need for medical examination of the child victim and when examination is undertaken, ensures that multiple re-examination is avoided;
j. The medical examination should be conducted in the presence of the parent/guardian and social worker/counsellor as far as possible;
k. Child’s testimony should be recorded in the presence of a social worker/counselor as early as possible after the abusive incident with other witnesses at hand;
l. Adequate translation/interpretation and translators/interpreters who are sensitive to the children’s needs should be provided wherever needed;
m. In case of a mentally challenged child, the competent service provider should depose on behalf of the child;
n. The special needs of the child victims/witnesses should be so catered as to:

i. Enable children to familiarize with the court surroundings;
ii. Inform children of the different roles of the key persons at court, such as the judge, the defense lawyer and the prosecutor;
iii. Inform the court of the special needs of children in general and of individual children in specific cases; 60
iv. Help children to be comfortable in the proceedings;
v. Encourage questioning to be short and clear so as not to confuse child witnesses;
vi. Permit children below eight years of age to respond to leading questions facilitated by a social worker.


44. Childrens’ Homes to be registered,
- (1) On and from the commencement of this Act, no person shall set up, manage or run any Children’s Home except under, and in accordance with, the conditions of a certificate of registration issued under this Act.
(2) Every person who intends to set up or run a Children’s Home shall make an application for certificate of registration to the Director of Child Welfare in the district in such form and furnishing such particulars as may be prescribed.
Provided that where a person has already set up and is running, a Children’s Home at the commencement of this Act, he shall within three months from such commencement apply for getting registered under the Act.
(3) Nothing contained herein shall apply to:
a) A hostel directly regulated by a recognized educational institution;
b) Any school, home, or other institution for children which is registered under any other Act in force in the State;

45. Certain Obligations of Children’s Homes,
- It shall be obligatory on every Children’s Home to report to the Director of Child Welfare,
a) When a child in its care attains of eighteen years of age, giving the details of the physical and mental state of his health and the nature of support required by him.
b) In the event of death of an inmate, along with a certificate of death issued by a registered medical practitioner.
46. District Inspection Teams: (1) The State Government shall set up Inspection Teams and mobile squads in each district for the regulation, supervision and control of all Children’s Homes in the State and make rules providing for their appointment and functioning.
(2) The Functions of District Inspection Teams shall include:
(i) Supervision and control of children’s Homes in accordance with the provisions of this Act.
(ii) Assisting the Director of Child Development in the verification and scrutiny of applications for registration
(iii) Furnishing such information and particulars as are called for by the Director


45.Child Committees: (1) Every Gram Panchayat, Taluk Panchayath and Zilla Parishat shall constitute respectively at the village, taluk and district level a Children’s Committee to protect and safeguard the interests of the children.
(2) Each Village child committee shall consist of five persons of whom one shall be a child above the age of 15 years and the other four shall be nominated by the Village Panchayat from among its members and social workers of whom at least two shall be women.
(3) Each Taluk child committee shall consist of not less than seven members of whom one shall be a child above the age of fifteen years and the other six nominated by the taluk panchayat from among its members, educationists and social workers of whom two shall be women and one belonging to the scheduled castes or the scheduled tribes.
(4) Each District Child Committee shall consist of nine members of whom two shall be children aged above 15 years and the others nominated by the Zilla parishat from among its 61 members, educationists, child psychologists, social workers of whom atleast three shall be woman and one belonging to the scheduled castes or the scheduled tribes

46. Functions of Child Committees, - Each child Committee shall, -
a) Ensure the best interests of the child and will pay particular attention to providing recreational and play facilities for children.
b) Interact with the Departments of the State Government in the
c) Implementation of the plan of Action for elimination of child illiteracy,
d) Children on the streets, child prostitution and child labor.
e) Carry out such other functions as laid down from time to time.
f) Submit the status report to the Director of Child Development, periodically.

47. Child Committees in towns and cities,
-: (1) The Child Committees in the Town and City Municipal areas shall be constituted on lines of the Child Committees at the Taluk level and in City Corporation areas on lines of the District Child Committees.
(2) The provisions of sections 45 and 46 shall mutatis-mutandis apply to child committees in the towns and cities.

48. The Children’s Fund: (1). As soon as may be after the commencement of this Act, there shall be established for the purpose of administering the scheme and the benefits under the Act, a fund called the State Children’s Fund into which shall be credited all grants from the Central or the State Governments and all voluntary donations, specific endowments, gifts and subscriptions made into the Fund including foreign donations
(2) All fines imposed under this Act shall also be credited to the Fund.
(3) The Fund shall be administered for the purpose of distributing benefits under the Act and in the manner prescribed. The state Government may make rules concerning the Annual statements and accounting of the fund.


50. Child Code, - The state shall endeavour to formulate and enforce a regulation called the Child Code to lay the norms of behaviour and interaction of adults, especially use of slang and abusive language in conversation with the children

51. Sensitization programs, - The State Government shall arrange programs widely to sensitize the people on Child rights and the dangers of child abuse.

52. Child Police Stations, - The State Government shall establish child police stations in vulnerable areas to safeguard them against effect of crime and separating them from the company of criminals. The police shall also be sensitized to the issue of child abuse and trained in child behavior and conduct

53. Regulation of browsing centres: (1) The Government shall constitute a Special Advisory Group to suggest ways to protect children from the harmful influences of the Internet. The Special Advisory Group shall include, amongst others child councillors, child psychologists, and police officers
(2) No child below the age of 14 shall be allowed unaccompanied inside the cyber café or any other establishment which provides any computer services to the general public for a cost.
(3) All establishments providing training to children through computers shall ensure that child friendly safeguards are installed and that no child below the age of 14 has access to Internet facilities.
(4) The owners of such establishments shall be responsible if any material or sites unsuitable for children are kept accessible to children 62
(5) All such establishments shall make their premises freely accessible to the Special Officers for inspection at any time.


54. Offences and Penalties: (1) Whoever contravenes any provisions of this Act or of any rule, regulation or notification made there under, -
a) For all forms of hazardous employment, a fine of rupees fifty thousand with imprisonment of one year for the employer;
b) For all forms of non-hazardous employment, a fine of rupees twenty five thousand with imprisonment of three months for the employer;
c) For all forms of domestic labour a fine of rupees fifty thousand for the person employing the domestic child labour;
d) Any person who employs, aids or abets in the trafficking, including by employing of such trafficked children shall be punishable with a fine of rupees fifty thousand and/or imprisonment for a term of not less than three months.

(2) Whoever commits any sexual assault under this Act, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine of rupees one lakh;
(3) Whoever commits any grave sexual assault shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term shall not be less than seven years but which may extend to ten years and shall also be liable to fine of rupees two lakhs;
(4) Whoever commits incest shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term of one year with fine of rupees one lakh.
(5) Whoever fails to keep the premises clean and commits the wrong under section 18 will carry a penalty, which may range from rupees one hundred to rupees one thousand.
(6) Any refusal to inform the competent authority beyond the period of three months shall make the person liable to a fine of rupees one lakh and also imprisonment for one year if it is found that the provisions of this section have been violated. This will be in addition to any other punishment that may be enforced.
(7) Failure to report the discovery of photos/films given for development having obscenity about children shall be punishable with imprisonment for not less than one year but which may extend to three years and/or a minimum penalty of rupees fifty thousand.

(8) Whoever does the sale of children or aids or abets the sale of a child or the body part/organ of a child, or where there is sufficient reason to believe that the child is kept for the purpose of using or selling any body part of that child including blood is guilty of committing an offence under this Act; shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term of not less than one year which may extend to three years and a fine of not less than rupees fifty thousand.
(9) The use of children in the illicit procurement, trafficking and sale of narcotic, psychotropic and alcoholic substances is prohibited and anyone found guilty of transgression shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term not less than one year and which may extend to three years and/or a penalty of rupees fifty thousand.
(10) Anyone inducing a child to beg or gamble or to assist in the gambling trade shall be liable to a punishable with imprisonment for a period of not less than one year and a fine of not less than fifty thousand rupees.

(11) Any person who exploits a child for commercial sexual purpose shall be liable to pay a penalty, which may extend to rupees one lakh and imprisonment of one year. This will be in addition to any penalty or punishable that may be enforced under any other Act in force; 63


55. Cognizance of offences under the Act: No person shall be tried for any offence under the provisions of this Act, except upon the report of a police officer or upon a complaint made by the Commission or a Special Officer or by a person expressly authorized in this behalf by the Government.

56. Penalty for filing false Complaint: Any person who files false complaint shall be liable to pay a penalty, which may extend up to ten thousand rupees.

57. Offences to be cognizable: Not withstanding any thing contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974) offences under this Act shall be cognizable and boilable.

58. Bar of jurisdiction of other courts, - No Court of ordinary jurisdiction, civil or criminal, shall have jurisdiction to try any offence or any dispute or liability which by or under this Act is to be decided by the Special Court for Children.

59. Act to override other Laws: Save as otherwise provided in this Act, the provisions of this Act shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in any other law for the time being in force or any custom or usage or any instrument having effect by virtue of any such law.

60. Power to Make Rules: The State Government may by notification in the Official Gazette, make rules for carrying out the purposes of this Act.

61. Power to remove difficulties. - (1) If any difficulty arises in giving effect to the provisions of this Act, the Government may by Order published in the Official Gazette, make such provisions not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act as may appear to be necessary or expedient for removal of the difficulty.

Provided that no order shall be made under this section after the expiry of two years from the commencement of this Act.

(2) Every order made under this section shall be laid, as soon as may be after it is made, before both the Houses of the State Legislature.

76. Protection of action taken in good faith: No suit, prosecution or other legal proceedings shall lie against the Commission, Director or any other person authorized by the Commission or Director for anything which is done in good faith or intended to be done in pursuance of this Act or any rule made there under.

77. Bar of suits and prosecutions: No suit, prosecution or other proceedings shall lie against the Government or any officer of the Government, or against any person appointed under this Act, for any act done or purporting to be done under this Act, without the previous sanction of the Government.


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