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:-
1. This Act has been extended, to Goa, Daman and Diu by Reg. 12 of 1962, section 3 and Schedule to Dadra and Nagar Haveli by Reg. 6 of 1963, section 2 and Schedule I and to Pondicherry by Reg. 7 of 1963, section 3 and Schedule I.
(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 date1* as the Administrator may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint and different dates may be appointed for different areas thereof.
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;
(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;
(e) "Child" means a boy who has not attained the age of sixteen years or a girl who has not attained 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;
(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
(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 incharge 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;
(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 institutions] 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], shall have the meanings assigned to them in that Code.
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.
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