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THE CHILDREN ACT, 1960

Title : THE CHILDREN ACT, 1960

Year : 1960



(1) The Administrator may, notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, at any time, order a neglected or delinquent child to be discharged from the children's home or special school, either absolutely or on such conditions as he may think fit to impose.

(2) The Administrator may, notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, order-

(a) A neglected child to be transferred from one children's home to another;

(b) A delinquent child to be transferred from one special school to another or from a special school to a borstal school where such school exists or from a special school to a children's home;

(c) A child who has been released on licence which has been revoked or forfeited, to be sent to the special school or children's home from which he was released or to any other children's home or special school or borstal school:

Provided that the total period of the stay of the child in a children's home, or a special school shall not be increased by such transfer.

(3) The Administrator may, notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, at any time, discharge a child from the care of any person under whom he was placed under this Act either absolutely or on such conditions as the Administrator may think fit to impose.



(1) The Administrator of a Union territory may direct any neglected child or delinquent child to be transferred from any children's home or special school within the Union territory to any other children's home, special school or institution of a like nature in any other State with the consent of the Government of that State.

(2) The Administrator of a Union territory may, by general or special order, provide for the reception in a children's home or special school within the Union territory of a neglected child or delinquent child detained in a children's home or special school or institution of a like nature in any other State where the Government of that State makes an order for such transfer, and upon such transfer the provisions of this Act shall apply to such child as if he had been originally ordered to be sent to such children's home or special school under this Act.



(1) Where it appears to the Administrator that any child kept in a special school or children's home in pursuance of this Act is suffering from leprosy or is of unsound mind, the Administrator may order his removal to a leper asylum or mental hospital or other place of safe custody for being kept there for the remainder of the term for which he has to be kept in custody under the orders of the competent authority or for such further period as may be certified by a medical officer to be necessary for the proper treatment of the child.

(2) Where it appears to the Administrator that the child is cured of leprosy or of unsoundness of mind, he may, if the child is still liable to be kept in custody, order the person having charge of the child to send him to the special school or children's home from which he was removed or, if the child is no longer liable to be kept in custody, order him to be discharged.



(1) When a child is kept in a children's home or special school, the Administrator may, if he so thinks fit, release the child from the children's home or special school and grant him a written licence for such period and on such conditions as may be specified in the licence permitting him to live with, or under the supervision of, any responsible person named in the licence willing to receive and take charge of him with a view to educate him and train him for some useful trade or calling.

(2) Any licence so granted under sub-section (1) shall be in force for the period specified in the licence or until revoked or forfeited by the breach of any of the conditions on which it was granted.

(3) The Administrator may, at any time, by order in writing revoke any such licence and order the child to return to the children's home or special school from which he was released or to any other children's home or special school, and shall do so at the desire of the person with whom or under whose supervision the child has been permitted to live in accordance with a licence granted under sub-section (1).

(4) When a licence has been revoked or forfeited and the child refuses or fails to return to the special school or children's home to which he was directed so to return, the Administrator may, if necessary, cause him to be taken charge of and to be taken back to the special school or children's home.

(5) The time during which a child is absent from a special school or children's home in pursuance of a licence granted under this section shall be deemed to be part of the time for which he is liable to be kept in custody in the special school or children's home:

Provided that when a child has failed to return to the special school or children's home on the licence being revoked or forfeited, the time which elapses after his failure so to return shall be excluded in computing the time during which he is liable to be kept in custody



Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any other law for the time being in force, any police officer may take charge without warrant of a child who has escaped from a special school or a children's home or from the care of a person under whom he was placed under this Act and shall send the child back to the special school or the children's home or that person, as the case may be; and no proceeding shall be instituted in respect of the child by reason of such escape but the special school, children's home or the person may, after giving the information to the competent authority which passed the order in respect of the child, take such steps against the child as may be deemed necessary.



(1) The competent authority which makes an order for sending a neglected child or a delinquent child to a children's home or a. special school or placing the child under the care of a fit person may make an order requiring the parent or other person liable to maintain the child to contribute to his maintenance, if able to do so, in the prescribed manner.

(2) The competent authority before making any order under sub-section (1) shall inquire into the circumstances of the parent or other person liable to maintain the child and shall record evidence, if any, in the presence of the parent or such other person, as the case may be.

(3) The person liable to maintain a child shall, for the purposes of sub-section (1), include in the case of illegitimacy, his putative father:

Provided that where the child is illegitimate and an order for his maintenance has been made under 1*[section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973], the competent authority shall not ordinarily make an order for contribution against the putative father, but may order the whole or any part of tile sums accruing due under the said order for maintenance to be paid to such person as may be named by the competent authority and such sum shall be paid by him towards the maintenance of the child.

(4) Any order made under this section may be enforced in the same manner as an order 1[section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973].

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1. Substituted by Act No. 15 of 1978, for the words, brackets and figure "section 488 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (5 of 1898)".

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Any person in whose custody a child is placed in pursuance of this Act shall, while the order is in force, have the like control over the child as he would have if he were his parent, and shall be responsible for his maintenance, and the child shall continue in his custody for the period stated by the competent authority, notwithstanding that he is claimed by his parent or any other person:

Provided
that no child while in such custody shall be married except with the permission of the competent authority.



In any area in which this Act is brought into force, the Administrator may direct that a delinquent child who is undergoing any sentence of imprisonment at the commencement of this Act shall, in lieu of undergoing such sentence, be sent to a special school, or be kept in safe custody in such place and manner as the Administrator thinks fit, for the remainder of the period of the sentence; and the provisions of this Act shall apply to the child. as if he had been ordered by a children's court to be sent to such special school or, as the case may be, ordered to be detained under sub-section (2) of section 22.



(1) The Administrator may appoint as many probation officers, officers for the inspection of special schools, children's homes, observation homes or after-care organisations and such other officers as he may deem necessary for carrying out the purposes of this Act.

(2) It shall be the duty of the probation officer-

(a) To inquire in accordance with the direction of a competent authority, into the antecedents and family history of any child accused of an offence, with a view to assist the authority in making the inquiry;

(b) To visit neglected and delinquent children at such intervals as the probation officer may think fit;

(c) To report to the competent authority as to the behaviour of any neglected or delinquent child;

(d) To advise and, assist neglected or delinquent children and, if necessary, endeavour to find them suitable employment;

(e) Where a neglected or delinquent child is placed under the care of any person on certain conditions, to see whether such conditions are being complied with; and

(f) To perform such other duties as may be prescribed.

(3) Any officer empowered in this behalf by the Administrator may enter any special school, children's home, observation home, or after-care organisation and make a complete inspection thereof in all its departments and of all papers, registers and accounts relating thereto and shall submit the report of such inspection to the Administrator.



Probation officers and other officers appointed in pursuance of this Act shall be deemed to be public servants within the meaning of section 21 of the Indian Penal Code.



The provisions of 1*[Chapter XXXIII of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973], shall, as far as may be, apply to bonds taken under this Act.

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

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The Administrator may, by general or special order, direct that any power exercisable by him under this Act shall, in such circumstances and under such conditions, if any, as may be specified in the order, be exercisable also by an officer subordinate to the Administrator.



No suit or other legal proceeding shall lie against the Administrator or any probation officer or other officer appointed under this Act in respect of anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done in pursuance of this Act or of any rules or orders made there under.



(1) The Reformatory Schools Act, 1897, and 1*[section 27 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973], shall cease to apply to any area in which this Act has been brought into force.

(2) The Women's and Children's Institutions (Licensing) Act, 1956 shall not apply to any children's home, special school or observation home established and maintained under this Act.

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1. Substituted by Act No. 15 of 1978, for the words, brackets and figure "section 29B and section 399 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (5 of 1898)".

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(1) The Administrator may, by notification in the Official Gazette, make rules to carry out the purposes of this Act.

(2) In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such rules may provide for all or any of the following matters, namely:-

(a) The places at which, the days on which, the time at which, and the manner in which, a competent authority may hold its sittings;

(b) The procedure to be followed by a competent authority in holding inquiries under this Act; and the mode of dealing with children suffering from dangerous diseases or mental complaints;

(c) The circumstances in which, and the conditions subject to which, an institution may be certified as a special school or a children's home or recognised as an observation home, and the certification or recognition withdrawn;

(d) The internal management of special schools, children's home and observation homes 4*[and the standards and the nature of services to be maintained by them];

(e) The functions and responsibilities of special schools, children's homes and observation homes;

(f) The inspection of special schools, children's homes, observation homes and after-care organisations;

(g) The establishment, management and functions of after-care organisations; the circumstances in which, and the conditions subject to which, an institution may be recognised as an after-care organisation 4*[and such other matters as are referred to in section 12];

(h) The qualifications and duties of probation officers;

(i) The recruitment and training of persons appointed to carry out the purposes of this Act and the terms and conditions of their service;

(j) The conditions subject to which a girl who is a neglected or delinquent child may be escorted from one place to another, and the manner in which a child may be sent outside the jurisdiction of a competent authority;

(k) The manner in which contribution for the maintenance of a child may be ordered to be paid by a parent or guardian;

(l) The conditions under which a child may be placed out on licence and the form and conditions of such licence;

(m) The conditions subject to which children may be placed under the care of any parent, guardian or other 3*[fit person or fit institution] under this Act and the obligations of such 2([ persons or institutions] towards the children so placed;

(n) Any other matter which has to be, or may be, prescribed.

1*[(3) Every rule made under this section shall be laid, as soon as may be after it is made, before each House of Parliament, while it is in session for a total period of thirty days which may be comprised in one session or in two or more successive sessions, and if, before the expiry of the session immediately following the session or the successive sessions aforesaid, both Houses agree in making any modification in the rule or both Houses agree that the rule should not be made, the rule shall thereafter have effect only in such modified form or be of no effect, as the case may be, so, however, that any such modification or annulment shall be without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under that rule.]

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1. Substituted by Act No. 15 of 1978, for former sub-section (3).

2. Substituted by Act No. 15 of 1978, for the word "persons".

3. Substituted by Act No. 15 of 1978, for the words "fit person".

4. Inserted by Act No. 15 of 1978.

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If, immediately before the date on which this Act comes into force in any area, there is in force in that area, any law corresponding to this Act, that law shall stand repealed on the said date:

Provided that the repeal shall not affect-

(a) The previous operation of any law so repealed or anything duly done or suffered thereunder; or

(b) Any right, privilege, obligation or liability acquired, accrued or incurred under any law so repealed; or

(c) Any penalty, forfeiture or punishment incurred in respect of any offence committed against any law so repealed; or

(d) Any investigation, legal proceeding or remedy in respect of any such right, privilege, obligation, liability, penalty, forfeiture or punishment as aforesaid;and any such investigation, legal proceeding or remedy may be instituted, continued or enforced and any such penalty, forfeiture or punishment may be imposed, as if this Act had not been passed.
Last updated on July, 2016

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