The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 is the primary legal framework for juvenile justice in India. The act provides for a special approach towards the prevention and treatment of juvenile delinquency and provides a framework for the protection, treatment and rehabilitation of children in the purview of the juvenile justice system.

This act has been further amended in 2006 and 2010. In the wake of Delhi gang rape (16 Dec 2012), the law suffered a nationwide criticism owing to its helplessness against crimes where juveniles get involved in heinous crimes like rape and murder. In 2015, responding to the public sentiment, both the houses of parliament in India further amended the bill that lowered the juvenile age to 16 and proposed adult-like treatment for juveniles accused of heinous crimes. The lower house, i.e. Lok Sabha passed the bill on 7 May 2015 and the upper house i.e. Rajya Sabha on 22 December 2015. The bill was approved by President Pranab Mukherjee's assent on 31 December 2015.

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