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THE CHILDREN ACT, 1960

Title : THE CHILDREN ACT, 1960

Year : 1960



(1) The Administrator may, by notification in the Official Gazette, constitute for any area specified in the notification, one or more Child Welfare Boards for exercising the powers and discharging the duties conferred or imposed on such Board in relation to neglected children under this Act.

(2) A Board shall consist of a chairman and such other members as the Administrator thinks fit to appoint, of whom not less than one shall be a woman; and every such member shall be vested with the powers of a magistrate under the 1*[Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973].

(3) The Board shall function as a Bench of magistrates and shall have the powers conferred by the 2*[Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, on a Metropolitan Magistrate or, as the case may be, a Judicial Magistrate of the first class].

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1. Substituted by Act No. 15 of 1978, for the words, figure and brackets "Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (5 of 1898)".

2. Substituted by Act No. 15 of 1978.

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(1) Notwithstanding anything Contained in the 1*[Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973], the Administrator may, by notification in the Official Gazette, constitute for any area specified in the notification, one or more children's courts for exercising the powers and discharging the duties conferred or imposed on such court in relation to delinquent children under this Act.

2*[(2) A children's court shall consist of such number of Metropolitan Magistrates or Judicial Magistrates of the first class, as the case, may be, forming a Bench as the Administrator thinks fit to appoint, of whom one shall be designated as the principal magistrate; and every such Bench shall have the powers conferred by the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, on a Metropolitan Magistrate or, as the case may be, a Judicial Magistrate of the first class.

(3) Every children's court shall be assisted by a panel of two honorary social workers possessing such qualifications as may be prescribed, of whom at least one shall be a woman, and such panel shall be appointed by the Administrator.]

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1. Substituted by Act No. 15 of 1978, for the words, figure and brackets "Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (5 of 1898)".

2. Substituted by Act No. 15 of 1978, for former sub-section (2).

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(1) In the event of any difference of opinion among the members of a Board or among the magistrates of a children's court, the opinion of the majority shall prevail, but where there is no such majority, the opinion of the chairman or of the 1*[principal magistrate], as the case may be, shall prevail.

(2) A Board or children's court may act notwithstanding the absence of any member of the Board or, as the case may be, any magistrate of the children's court, and no order made by the Board or children's court shall be invalid by reason only of the absence of any member or magistrate, as the case may be, during any stage of the proceeding.

(3) No person shall be appointed as a member of the Board or as a magistrate in the children's court unless he has, in the opinion of the Administrator, special knowledge of child psychology and child welfare.

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1. Substituted by Act No. 15 of 1978, for the words "senior magistrate".

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(1) Where a Board or a children's court has been constituted for any area, such Board or court shall, notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force but save as otherwise expressly provided in this Act, have power to deal exclusively with all proceedings under this Act relating to neglected children or delinquent children, as the case may be :

1*[Provided that a Board or a children's court may, if it is of opinion that it is necessary so to do having regard to the circumstances of the case, transfer any proceedings to any children's court or Board, as the case may be :

1* Provided further that where there is any difference of opinion between a Board and a children's court regarding the transfer of any proceedings under the first proviso, it shall be, referred to the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate or, as the case may be, the Chief Judicial Magistrate for decision, and in a case where the District Magistrate is functioning as a Board or a children's court, such difference of opinion shall be referred to the Court of Session, and the decision of the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate or Chief Judicial Magistrate or, as the case may be, the Court of Session on such reference shall be final.]

(2) Where no Board or children's court has been constituted for any area, the powers conferred on the Board or the children's court by or under this Act shall be exercised in that area, only by the following, namely :-

(a) The district magistrate; or

(b) The sub-divisional magistrate; or

2*[(c) Any Metropolitan Magistrate or Judicial Magistrate of the first class, as the case may be.]

(3) The powers conferred on the Board or children's court by or under this Act may also be exercised by the High Court and the court of session, when the proceeding comes before them in appeal, revision or otherwise.

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1. Inserted by Act No. 15 of 1978.

2. Substituted by Act No. 15 of 1978, for former clause (c).

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(1) When any magistrate not empowered to exercise the powers of a Board or a children's court under this Act is of opinion that a person brought before him under any of the provisions of this Act (otherwise than for the purpose of giving evidence) is a child, he shall record such opinion and forward the child and the record of the proceeding to the competent authority having jurisdiction over the proceeding.

(2) The competent authority to which the proceeding is forwarded under sub-section (1) shall hold the inquiry as if the child had originally been brought before it.



(1) The Administrator may establish and maintain as many children's homes as may be necessary for the reception of neglected children under this Act.

(2) Where the Administrator is of opinion that any institution other than an institution established under sub-section (1) is fit for the reception of the neglected children to be sent there under this Act, he may certify such institution as a children's home for the purposes of this Act.

(3) Every children's home to which a neglected child is sent under this Act shall not only provide the child with accommodation, maintenance and facilities for education, but also provide him with facilities for the development of his character and abilities and give him necessary training for protecting himself against moral dangers or exploitation and shall also perform such other functions as may be prescribed 1*[to ensure all round growth and development of his personality].

(4) The Administrator may, by rules made under this Act, provide for the management of children's homes 2*[, including the standards and the nature of services to be maintained by them,] and the circumstances under which, and the manner in which, the certificate of a children's home may be granted or withdrawn.

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1. Inserted by Act No. 15 of 1978.

2. Inserted by Act No. 15 of 1978.

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(1) The Administrator may establish and maintain as many special schools as may be necessary for the reception of delinquent children under this Act.

(2) Where the Administrator is of opinion that any institution other than an institution established under sub-section (1) is fit for the reception of the delinquent children to be sent there under this Act, he may certify such institution as a special school for the purposes of this Act.

(3) Every special school to which a delinquent child is sent under this Act shall not only provide the child with accommodation, maintenance and facilities for education but also provide him with facilities for the development of his character and abilities and give him necessary training for his reformation and shall also perform such other functions as may be prescribed 1*[to ensure all round growth and development of his personality].

(4) The Administrator may, by rules made under this Act, provide for the management of special schools 1*[including the standards and the nature of services to be maintained by them,] and the circumstances under which, and the manner in which, the certificate of a special school may be granted or withdrawn.

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1. Inserted by Act No. 15 of 1978.

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(1) The Administrator may establish and maintain as many observation homes as may be necessary for the temporary reception of children during the pendency of any inquiry regarding them under this Act.

(2) Where the Administrator is of opinion that any institution other than an institution established under sub-section (1) is fit for the temporary reception of children during the pendency of any inquiry regarding them under this Act, he may recognise such institution as an observation home for the purposes of this Act.

(3) Every observation home to which a child is sent under this Act shall not only provide the child with accommodation, maintenance and facilities for medical examination and treatment, but also provide him with facilities for useful occupation.

(4) The Administrator may, by rules made under this, Act, provide for the management of observation homes 1*[, including the standards and the nature of services to be maintained by them,] and the circumstances under which, and the manner in which, an institution may be recognised as an observation home or the recognition may be withdrawn.

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1. Inserted by Act No. 15 of 1978.

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1*[The Administrator may, by rules made under this Act, provide-

(a) For the establishment or recognition of after-care organisations and the powers that may be exercised by them for effectively carrying out their functions under this Act;

(b) For a scheme of after-care programme to be followed by such after-care organisations for the purpose of taking care of children after they leave children's homes or special schools and for the purpose of enabling them to lead an honest, industrious and useful life;

(c) For the preparation and submission of a report by the probation officer in respect of each child prior to his discharge from a children's home or special school, as the case may be, regarding the necessity and nature of after-care of such child, the period of such after-care, supervision thereof and for the submission of a report by the probation officer on the progress of each such child;

(d) For the standards and the nature of services to be maintained by such after-care organisations;

(e) For such other matters as may be necessary for the purpose of effectively carrying out the scheme of after-care programme of children.]

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1. Substituted by Act No. 15 of 1978, for former section 12.

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Last updated on July, 2016

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