Last Updated: Saturday December 22, 2007

 

The Juvenile Justice System Ordinance, 2000


Ordinance XXII of 2000

Ist  July, 2000

An ordinance

to provide for protection of the rights of children involved in criminal litigation.

 

 

No. F. 2(1)/2000-Pub., dated 1-7-2000. The following Ordinance made by the President is hereby published for general information:---

           

Whereas it is expedient to provide for protection of children involved in criminal litigation, their rehabilitation in society, reorganization of Juvenile Courts and matters connected therewith and incidental thereto;

 

And whereas the National Assembly and the Senate stand suspended in pursuance of the Proclamation of Emergency of the fourteenth day of October, 1999, and the Provisional Constitution Order No. 1 of 1999;

 

And whereas the President is satisfied that circumstances exist which render it necessary to take immediate action;

 

Now, therefore, in pursuance of the Proclamation of Emergency of the fourteenth day of October, 1999 and the Provisional Constitution Order No. 1 of 1999, as well as Order No. 9 of 1999, and in exercise of all powers enabling him in that behalf, the President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is pleased to make and promulgate the following Ordinance:---

 

1.         Short title and commencement.-(1) This Ordinance may be called the Juvenile Justice System Ordinance, 2000.

(2)        It extends to the whole of Pakistan

(3)        It shall come into force at once.

 

2.         Definitions.- In this Ordinance, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context,-

(a)       ‘Borstal[1] institution’ means a place where child offenders may be detained and given education and training for their mental, moral and  psychological development;

(b)        ‘Child’ means a person who at the time of commission of an offence has not attained the age of eighteen years;

(c)        ‘Code’ means the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (Act V of 1998);

(d)       ‘Guardian’ means a parent or a person who has actual care of child and includes such relative who is willing to bear the responsibility the child;

(e)        ‘Juvenile Court’ means a Court established under section 4;

(f)         ‘Offence’ means an offence punishable under any law for the time being in force; and

(g)        ‘Probation Officer means a person appointed under the Probation of Offenders Ordinance, 1960 (XLV of 1960), or such person as the Provincial Government may appoint to perform the functions of Probation Officer under this Ordinance.

Court Decisions

Child:-- Child under S. 2(b) of Juvenile justice System Ordinance, 2000 had been defined as a person who, at the time of commission of offence, had not attained age of 18 years and under S.12 of the said Ordinance-Sentence of death could not be awarded to a child and under S. 10(7), proviso (a) of the ordinance a child who, for commission of an offence, had been detained, would be released on bail, if being accused of an offence punishable with death had been detained for a continuous period exceeding one year and whose trial for such an offence had not been concluded-Accused being child having remained in jail for more than a year, was granted bill. 2004 P Cr. L. J. 326

Child – Determination of age-Accused, claiming himself to be a child within the meaning of the juvenile justice System Ordinance, 2000 moved an application that his trial be separated and he be dealt with in the terms of the said ordinance-Trial Court got the accused examined from a Medical Board which reported that the accused was 23 years of age and accordingly at the time of occurrence he was about 20 years of age and accordingly at the time of occurrence he was about 20 years of age-Trial court, however, summoned the Radiologist and a Dental Surgeon who gave opinion that the age determined by the Medical Board was not exact and there could be a variation of two to three years-Accused also relied upon the Nikahnama of his parents and after enquiry through the Station House Officer of the concerned Police Station which was in the affirmative, prosecution was ordered by the Trial Court to prepare the separate challan of the accused treating him in terms of the juvenile justice System Ordinance, 2000-Validity-High Court, ordinarily, would not summon the original record in proceedings in revisions but in view of the procedure adopted by the Trial Court, mandate of the juvenile justice System Ordinance, 2000 and with concurrence of the parties requisitioned the same and found discrepancies and irregularities in entries in the relevant record concerning birth of the child and the marriage of the parents of the accused and unusual features of binding of the relevant Registers of the Union Council concerned-Trial court had not occasion to summon the Radiologist and the Dental surgeon, even if they had been summoned, their opinion could be interpreted either way and there was nothing on record an no tenable reason existed either to interpret the opinion of those two doctors in favour of the accused-orders by the Trial Court were against the weight of record and material placed before the court-Trial court, in view of such evidence, could not declare the accused to be of less than eighteen years of age at the time of occurrence, which orders were set aside by the High Court in revision with the direction to the Trial Court to decide the case of the accused as an ordinary court. PLD 2003 Lah. 457

 

3.         Legal assistance.-(l) Every child who is accused of the commission of an offence or is a victim of an offence shall have the right of legal assistance at the expense of the State.

(2)        A legal practitioner appointed by the State for providing legal assistance to a child accused of the commission of an offence, or victim of an offence, shall have at least five years standing at the Bar.

 

4.         Juvenile Courts.-(l) The Provincial Government shall in consultation with the Chief Justice of High Court, by notification in the official Gazette, establish one or more Juvenile Courts for any local area within its jurisdiction.

(2)        The High Court may-

(a)        Confer powers of Juvenile Court on,---

(i)         Court of Sessions; or

(ii)        Judicial Magistrate of the First Class; and

(b)       Appoint, from amongst practising Advocates having at least’ seven years standing at the Bar, Presiding Officers of Juvenile Courts with powers of a Judicial Magistrate of the First Class for the purposes of this Ordinance on such terms and conditions as the High Court may determine.

(3)       The Juvenile Court shall have the exclusive jurisdiction to try cases in which a child is accused of commission of an offence.

(4)        Subject to subsection (3), on commencement of this Ordinance, all cases pending before trial Court in which a child is accused of an offence shall stand transferred to the Juvenile Court having jurisdiction.

(5)      The Juvenile Court shall not, merely by reason of a change in its composition, or transfer of a case under subsection (4), be bound to recall or rehear any witness who has given evidence and may act on the evidence already recorded.

(6)        On taking cognizance of an offence, the Juvenile Court shall decide the case within four months.

 

5.         No joint trial of a child and adult person.-(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in section 239 of the Code, or any other law for the time being in force, no child shall be charged with or tried for an offence together with an adult.

(2)           If a child is charged with commission of an offence for which under section 239 of the Code, or any other law for the time being in force such child could be tried together with an adult, the Court taking cognizance of the offence shall direct separate trial of the child by the Juvenile Court.

Court Decisions

Separation of trial--Accused claimed separation of trail on the ground that at the time of offence his age was less than 18 years-Medical Board, after examination of the accused found him of 20 years of age at the time of examination-Trail court declined to separate the trial of the accused-Plead raised by the accused was that Trial court had placed reliance on ossification test and had ignored Birth Certificate and School Leaving certificate-Validity-High court had rightly dismissed the revision petition filed by the accused against the order the Trial court-Leave to appeal was refused. 2004 S C M R 121

 

6.         Procedure of Juvenile Courts.-(l) Juvenile Court shall, unless provided otherwise in this Ordinance, follow the procedure provided for in the Code.

(2)        A Juvenile Court shall not ordinarily take up any other case on a day when the case of a child accused is fixed for evidence on such day.

(3)        No person shall be present at any sitting of a Juvenile Court except,---

(a)        Members and officers of the Juvenile Court;

(b)        Parties to the case before the Juvenile Court and such other persons who are directly concerned with the proceedings including the police officers;

(c)        Such other persons as the Juvenile Court directs to be present; and

(d)        Guardian of the child.

(4)        At any stage during the course of the trial of a case under this Ordinance, the juvenile Court may, in the interest of such child, decency or morality, direct any person to withdraw from Court for such period as the Court may direct.

(5)        Where at any stage during the course of the trial of a case, the juvenile Court is satisfied that the attendance of the child is not essential for the purposes of the trial, the juvenile Court may dispense with the attendance and proceed with the trial of the case in absence of the child.

(6)        When child who has been brought before a juvenile Court and is found to be suffering from serious illness, whether physical or mental, and requires treatment, the Court shall send such child to a hospital or a medical institution where treatment shall be given to the child at the expense of the State.

 

7.         Determination of age.-If a question arises as to whether a person before it is a child for the purposes of this Ordinance, the juvenile Court shall record a finding after such inquiry which shall include a medical report for determination of the age of the child.

Court Decisions

Determination of age-Accused, claiming himself to be a child within the meaning of the juvenile justice System Ordinance, 2000 moved an application that his trial be separated and he be dealt with in the terms of the said ordinance-Trial Court got the accused examined from a Medical Board which reported that the accused was 23 years of age and accordingly at the time of occurrence he was about 20 years of age and accordingly at the time of occurrence he was about 20 years of age-Trial court, however, summoned the Radiologist and a Dental Surgeon who gave opinion that the age determined by the Medical Board was not exact and there could be a variation of two to three years-Accused also relied upon the Nikahnama of his parents and after enquiry through the Station House Officer of the concerned police Station which was in the affirmative, prosecution was ordered by the Trial Court to prepare the separate challan of the accused treating him in terms of the juvenile justice System Ordinance, 2000-Validity-High Court, ordinarily, would not summon the original record in proceedings in revisions but in view of the procedure adopted by the Trial Court, mandate of the juvenile justice System Ordinance, 2000 and with concurrence of the parties requisitioned the same and found discrepancies and irregularities in entries in the relevant record concerning birth of the child and the marriage of the parents of the accused and unusual features of binding of the relevant Registers of the Union Council concerned-Trial court had not occasion to summon the Radiologist and the Dental surgeon, even if they had been summoned, their opinion could be interpreted either way and there was nothing on record an no tenable reason existed either to interpret the opinion of those two doctors in favour of the accused-orders by the Trial Court were against the weight of record and material placed before the court-Trial court, in view of such evidence, could not declare the accused to be of less than eighteen years of age at the time of occurrence, which orders were set aside by the High Court in revision with the direction to the Trial Court to decide the case of the accused as an ordinary court. PLD 2003 Lah. 457 Intent and import-Determination of age of a child under S. 7 of the Juvenile Justice System ordinance, 2000, has been unambiguously left to the judgment of Trial court, but in the event of inquiry medical report has to be compulsorily obtained which would be of extreme importance. 2004 P. Cr. L. J 105

 

Separation of trial-Accused claimed separation of trail on the ground that at the time of offence his age was less than 18 years-Medical Board, after examination of the accused found him of 20 years of age at the time of examination-Trail court declined to separate the trial of the accused-Plead raised by the accused was that Trial court had placed reliance on ossification test and had ignored Birth Certificate and School Leaving certificate-Validity-High court had rightly dismissed the revision petition filed by the accused against the order the Trial court-Leave to appeal was refused. 2004 S C M R 121

Question relating to the age of a claimant in term of S. 7, juvenile justice System Ordinance, 2000 can only be determined by a judicial forum for it is a question of fact which can be settled judiciously for the purpose of treating the accused to be a juvenile offender-Executive Authorities or any Committee constituted by them enjoy no powers to discharge the judicial functions and if they are allowed to do so, that would negate the independence of judiciary as any court or Tribunal which is not found on any of the Articles of the Constitution cannot lawfully share judicial powers with the Courts referred to in Arts. 175 & 203 of the constitution-Sessions judge/juvenile Court, if required to determine the age of an offender, who claims himself to be below 18 years, at the time of commission of the offence, may dispose of his request expeditiously because by advancing such plea by a convict, element of causing delay in execution of the death sentence cannot be ruled out. PLD 2003 SC 656

     

8.         Prohibition to publish proceedings of cases.-(l) Unless the juvenile Court specifically authorizes, the Court proceedings shall not be published in any newspaper, magazine or journal in any form which may disclose the name, address, school or any identification or particulars calculated to lead directly or indirectly to the identification of such child nor shall any picture of the child be published.

 

9.         Probation Officer.-(l) The Probation Officer shall assist the juvenile Court by making a report on the child’s character, educational, social and moral background.

(2)        Subject to subsection (3) the report of the Probation Officer submitted to the juvenile Court shall be treated as confidential.

(3)        The juvenile Court may, if it so thinks fit, communicate the substance of the report to (like child or his guardian and, where any one of them disputes the contents or views contained therein, the juvenile Court may give such child or, as the case may be, guardian an opportunity of producing such evidence as may be relevant to the matter stated in the report.

 

10.       Arrest and bail.-(1) Where a child is arrested for commission of an offence, the officer incharge of the police station in which the child is detained shall, as soon as may be, inform-

(a)        The guardian of the child, if he can be found, of such arrest and inform him of the time, date and name of the juvenile Court before which the child shall be produced; and

(b)        The concerned Probation Officer to enable him to obtain such information about the child and other material circumstances which may be of assistance to the juvenile Court for making inquiry.

(2)        Where a child accused of a non-bailable offence is arrested, he shall, without any delay and in no case later than twenty-four hours from such arrest, be produced before the juvenile Court.

(3)        Without prejudice to the provisions of the Code, a child accused of a bailable offence shall, if already not released under section 496 of Code, be released by the juvenile Court on bail, with or without surety, unless it appears that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the release of the child shall bring him into association with any criminal or expose the child to any danger, in which case, the child shall be placed under the custody of a Probation Officer or a suitable person or institution dealing with the welfare of the children if parent or guardian of the child is not present, but shall not under any circumstances be kept in a police station or jail in such cases.

(4)        The juvenile Court shall, in a case where a child is not granted bail under subsection (3), direct for tracing the guardian of such child and where the guardian of the’ child is traced out, the juvenile Court may immediately release the child on bail.

(5)        Where a child under the age of fifteen years is arrested or detained for an offence, which is punishable with imprisonment of less than ten years, shall be treated as if he was accused of commission of a bailable offence.

(6)        No child under the age of fifteen years shall be arrested under any of the laws dealing with preventive detention or under the provisions of Chapter VIII of the Code.

(7)        Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code and except where a juvenile Court is of the opinion that the delay in the trial of the accused has been occasioned by an act or omission of the accused or any other person acting on his behalf or in exercise of any right or privilege under any law for the time being in force, a child who, for commission of an offence, has been detained, shall be released on bail,-

(a)        If, being accused of an offence punishable with death has been detained for such an offence for a continuous period exceeding one year and whose trial for such an offence has not concluded;

(b)        If, being accused of any" offence punishable for imprisonment for life has been detained for such an offence for a continuous period exceeding six months and whose trial for such offence has not concluded; or

(c)        Who, being accused of any offence not punishable with death, or imprisonment for life, has been detained for such an offence for a continuous period exceeding four months and whose trial for such an offence has not concluded:

Provided that where a child of the age of fifteen years or above is arrested, the Court may refuse to grant bail if there are reasonable grounds to believe that such child is involved in an offence which in its opinion is serious, heinous, gruesome, brutal, sensational in character or shocking to public morality or he is a previous convict of an offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life.

 

11.       Release on probation. -- Where on conclusion of an inquiry or trial, the juvenile Court finds that a child has committed an offence, then notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any law for the time being in force, the juvenile Court may, if it thinks fit-

(a)        Direct the child offender to be released on probation for good conduct and place such child under the care of guardian or any suitable person executing a bond with or without surety as the Court may require, for the good behaviour and well-being of the child for any period not exceeding the period of imprisonment awarded to such child:

Provided that the child released on probation be produced before the juvenile Court periodically on such dates and time as it may direct.

(b)        Make an order directing the child offender to be sent to a Borstal institution until he attains the age of eighteen years or for the period of imprisonment whichever is earlier.

(c)        Reduce the period of imprisonment or probation in the case where the Court is satisfied that further imprisonment or probation shall be unnecessary.

 

12.       Orders that shall not be passed with respect to a child.---Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any law for the time being in force no child shall be,---

(a)        Awarded punishment of death, or ordered to labour during the time spent in any Borstal or such other institution; and

(b)        Handcuffed, put in fetters or given any corporal-punishment at any time while in custody:---

Provided that where there is reasonable apprehension of the escape of the child from custody, he may be handcuffed.

 

13.       Appeal etc.-(1) A child convicted on a trial by a juvenile Court, or any other person on his behalf, may, within thirty days from the date of such order, prefer an appeal in accordance with the provisions of the Code.

(2)           The Provincial Government or any person aggrieved by an order if acquittal passed by a juvenile Court, may, within thirty days, prefer an appeal against such order in accordance with the provisions of section 417 of the Code.

 

14.       Ordinance not to derogate from other laws.-The provisions of this Ordinance shall be in addition to and not in derogation of, any other law for the time being in force.

 

15.       Power to make rules.- The Provincial Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, make rules for carrying out the purposes of this Ordinance.