India

 

1. Specific acts

 

2. Principal acts

  • Constitution of India

    *** Preamble Commitment: Justice, liberty, equality, & fraternity for all the citizens including children are the main purpose of the Constitution.
    Article 14: Equality before law & equal protection of laws. It is available to every person including children.
    Article 15 (3): empowers the State to make special legal provision for children. It makes mandate to the government to ensure children’s welfare constitutionally.
    Article 21: it mandates free & compulsory education for all the children in the age group of 6- 14 yrs.
    Article 23: puts total ban on forced labour & is punishable under the Act.
    Article 24: prohibits employment of children in hazardous factories below the age of 14yrs.; e.g.: mines, match industries etc.
    Article 51 A clause (k) & (j): the parent or the guardian to provide opportunities for education to his child or as case may be ward between the age of 6- 14 yrs.
    Directive principles in Constitution of India also provide protection for the children such as:
    Article 39 (e)- the health and strength of workers, men and women, and the tender age of children are not abused and that citizens are not forced by economic necessity to enter avocations unsuited to their age or strength.
    Article 39 (f)- that children are given opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity and that childhood and youth are protected against exploitation and against moral and material abandonment.
    Article 45- The State shall endeavor to provide, within a period of ten years from the commencement of this Constitution, for free and compulsory education for all children until they complete the age of fourteen years.
  • The Indian Penal Code, 1890

    ***Section 82 -Nothing is an offence which is done by a child under seven years of age
    Section 83 -Nothing is an offence which is done by a child above seven years of age and under twelve, who has not attained sufficient maturity of understanding to judge of the nature and consequences of his conduct on that occasion
    Section 89 -Nothing which is done in good faith for the benefit of a person under twelve years of age, or of unsound mind, by or by consent, either express or implied, of the guardian or other person having lawful charge of that person, is an offense by reason of any harm which it may cause, or be intended by the doer to cause or be known by the doer to be likely to cause to that person.
    Section 317- Whoever being the father or mother of a child under the age of twelve years, having the care of such child, shall expose or leave such child in any place with the intention of wholly abandoning such child, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years; or with fine, or with both.
    Section 361- Whoever takes or entices any minor under sixteen years of age if a male, or under eighteen years of age if a female, or any person of unsound mind, out of the keeping of the lawful guardian of such minor or person of unsound mind, without the consent of such guardian, is said to kidnap such minor or person from lawful guardianship.
    Section 363A- (1) Whoever kidnaps any minor or, not being the lawful guardian of a minor, obtains the custody of the minor, in order that such minor may be employed or used for the purpose of begging shall be punishable with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.          
    (2) Whoever maims any minor in order that such minor may be employed or used for the purposes of begging shall be punishable with imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.
    (3) Where any person, not being the lawful guardian of a minor, employs or uses such minor for the purposes of begging, it shall be presumed, unless the contrary is proved, that he kidnapped or otherwise obtained the custody of that minor in order that the minor might be employed or used for the purposes of begging.
    Section 366A- Whoever, by any means whatsoever, induces any minor girl under the age of eighteen years to go from any place or to do any act with intent that such girl may be, or knowing that it is likely that she will be, forced or seduced to illicit intercourse with another person shall be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.
    Section 372- Whoever sells, lets to hire, or otherwise disposes of any person under the age of eighteen years with intent that such person shall at any age be employed or used for the purpose of prostitution or illicit intercourse with any person or for any unlawful and immoral purpose, or knowing it to be likely that such person will at any age be employed or used for any such purpose, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall be liable to fine.
    Section 373-of the above legislation states that whoever buys, hires or otherwise obtains possession of any person under the age of eighteen years with intent that such person shall at any age be employed or used for the purpose of prostitution or illicit intercourse with any person or for any unlawful and immoral purpose, of knowing it to be likely that such person will at any age be employed or used for any purpose, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.
  • Indian Contract Act, 1872

    ***Section 30(i) -liabilities of a minor who is entitled to the benefits of a partnership. Sub-section (1)[ii]  the minor cannot in any case be a full-fledged partner in a partnership, but can only be admitted to the benefits of a partnership by consent of all the partners. Further, the section talks about the position of minor vis-à-vis the partnership post attainment of majority. Furthermore, the said section also deals with the extent to which a minor can be made liable with regard to “acts of the firm”
    Under sub-section (6), the burden of proving that the minor did not have knowledge that he was in fact entitled to the benefits of partnership rests with the party asserting the same. If the person asserting so is the minor himself, then he would have the onus to prove the same in accordance with Section 106 [l] and if it is someone else then Section 101 [li] and Section 103 [lii] will throw the onus on him.
    Under sub-section (7), clause (a), the minor, who has either chosen to continue as a full-fledged partner post attainment of majority or fails to signify his will to repudiate under sub-section (5), becomes a full-fledged partner and such a minor can be held liable for not only the debts incurred by the partnership after his becoming a partner, but also the ones which had been incurred ever since he was entitled to benefits of the partnership

 

3. Other relevant acts/legislations

  • Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995

    ***Chapter V- According to chapter V, children with disabilities should be provided free education by the appropriate government. The government must take steps to integrate children with disabilities into regular schools, but also make space for special schools that cater expressly to the needs of these children. In addition to the basic education schools, government are also required to make non-formal education programmes for children with disabilities that help attain literacy, rejoin school, impart vocational training, and provide them with free books and educational material. Teachers need to be specially trained to educate and see to the needs of children with disabilities. The government must also set up schemes that provide children with disabilities grant and scholarships and also provide funds for making buildings disabled friendly. Educational institutions are also required to provide visually challenged students with aids who will write for them.