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THE CHILDREN ACT, 1960

Title : THE CHILDREN ACT, 1960

Year : 1960



(1) If any police officer or any other person authorised by the Administrator in this behalf, by general or special order, is of opinion that a person is apparently a neglected child, such police officer or other person may take charge of that person for bringing him before a Board.

(2) When information is given to an officer-in-charge of a police station about any neglected child found within the limits of such station, he shall enter in a book to be kept for the purpose the substance of such information and take such action thereon as he deems fit and if such officer does not propose to take charge of the child, he shall forward a copy of the entry made to the Board.

(3) Every child taken charge of under sub-section (1) shall be brought before the Board within a period of twenty-four hours of such charge taken excluding the time necessary for the journey from the place where the child had been taken charge of to the Board.

(4) Every child taken charge of under sub-section (1) shall, unless he is kept with his parent or guardian, be sent to an observation home (but not to a police station or jail) until he can be brought before a Board.



(1) If a person, who in the opinion of the police officer or the authorised person is a neglected child, has a parent or guardian who has the actual charge of, or control over, the child, the police officer or the authorised person may, instead of taking charge of the child, make a report to the Board for initiating an inquiry regarding that child.

(2) On receipt of a report under sub-section (1), the Board may call upon the parent or guardian to produce the child before it and to show cause why the child should not he dealt with as a neglected child under the provisions of this Act and if it appears to the Board that the child is likely to be removed from its jurisdiction or to be concealed, it may immediately order his removal (if necessary by issuing a search warrant for the immediate production of the child) to an observation home 1*[or a place of safety].

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1. Inserted by Act No. 15 of 1978.

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(1) When a person alleged to be a neglected child is produced before a Board, it shall examine the police officer or the authorised person who brought the child or made the report and record the substance of such examination and hold the inquiry in the prescribed manner and may make such orders in relation to the child as it may deem fit.

(2) Where a Board is satisfied on inquiry that a child is a neglected child and that it is expedient so to deal with him, the Board may make an order directing the child to be sent to a children's home for the period until he ceases to be a child:

Provided that the Board may, for reasons to be recorded, extend the period of such stay, but in no case the period of stay shall extend beyond the time when the child attains the age of eighteen years, in the case of a boy, or twenty years, in the case of a girl :

Provided further that the Board may, if it is satisfied that having regard to the circumstances of the case it is expedient so to do, for reasons to be recorded, reduce the period of stay to such period as it thinks fit.

(3) During the pendency of any inquiry regarding a child, the child shall, unless he is kept with his parent or guardian, be sent to an observation home, 1*[or a place of safety] for such period as may be specified in the order of the Board:

Provided that no child shall be kept with his parent or guardian if, in the opinion of the Board, such parent or guardian is until 1*[or unable] to exercise or does not exercise proper care and control over the child.

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1. Inserted by Act No. 15 of 1978.

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(1) If the Board so thinks fit, it may, instead of making an order under sub-section (2) of section 15 for sending the child to a children's home, make an order placing the child under the care of a parent, guardian or other fit person , on such parent, guardian or fit person executing a bond with or without surety to be responsible for the good behaviour and well-being of the child and for the observance of such conditions as the Board may think fit to impose.

(2) At the time of making an order under sub-section (1) or at any time subsequently, the Board may, in addition, make an order that the child be placed under supervision for any period not exceeding three years in the first instance.

(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1) or sub-section (2), if at any time it appears to the Board, on receiving a report from the probation officer or otherwise, that there has been a breach of any of the conditions imposed by it in respect of the child, it may, after making such inquiry as it deems fit, order the child to be sent to a children's home.



Where a parent or guardian of a child complains to the Board that he is not able to exercise proper care and control over the child and the Board is satisfied on inquiry that proceedings under this Act should be initiated regarding the child, it may send the child to an observation home 1*[or a place of safety] and make such further inquiry as it may deem fit and the provisions of section 15 and section 16 shall, as far as may be, apply to such proceedings.

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1. Inserted by Act No. 15 of 1978.

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Last updated on July, 2016

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