Child Protection Law in India

Law Library

National Commission

National Commission for Protection of Child Rights

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) was set up in March 2007 under the Commissions for Protection of Child Rights (CPCR) Act, 2005, an Act of Parliament (December 2005)

The Commission shall inquire into violation of child rights and recommend initiation of proceedings in such cases;


The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2015, Rules, 2016

The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 [“child” means a person who, if a male, has not completed twenty-one years of age, and if a female, has not completed eighteen years of age]

  • Children Act, 1960
  • Child Marriage Restraint Act, 1929
  • Guardians and Wards Act, 1890

Adoption Regulations, 2017

In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (c) of section 68 read with clause (3) of section 2 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015

Child eligible for adoption– The following shall be eligible for adoption, namely:-
(a) any orphan or abandoned or surrendered child, declared legally free for adoption by the Child Welfare Committee;
(b) a child of a relative defined under sub-section (52) of section 2 of the Act;
(c) child or children of spouse from earlier marriage, surrendered by the biological parent(s) for adoption by the step-parent.

Eligibility criteria for prospective adoptive parents– (1) The prospective adoptive parents shall be physically, mentally and emotionally stable, financially capable and shall not have any life threatening medical condition.
(2) Any prospective adoptive parents, irrespective of his marital status and whether or not he has biological son or daughter, can adopt a child subject to following, namely:-
(a) the consent of both the spouses for the adoption shall be required, in case of a married couple;
(b) a single female can adopt a child of any gender;
(c) a single male shall not be eligible to adopt a girl child;
(3) No child shall be given in adoption to a couple unless they have at least two years of stable marital relationship.
(4) The age of prospective adoptive parents, as on the date of registration, shall be counted for deciding the eligibility and the eligibility of prospective adoptive parents to apply for children of different age groups

Crime against Children

Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012 [Click Here ]

An Act to protect children from offences of sexual assault, sexual harassment and pornography and provide for the establishment of Special Courts for the trial of such offences and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

For  Law Relating  to Domestic violence [ Click here]

Protection of children from Domestic Violence

Young Persons (Harmful Publication) Act, 1956 

An Act to prevent the dissemination of certain publications harmful to young persons.

Harmful publication” means any book, magazine, Pamphlet, leaflet, newspaper or other like publication which consists of stories told with the aid of pictures or without the aid of pictures or wholly in pictures, being stories portraying wholly or mainly―
(i) the commission of offences; or
(ii) acts of violence or cruelty; or
(iii) incidents of a repulsive or horrible nature;
in such a way that the publication as a whole would tend to corrupt a young person into whose hands it might fall, whether by inciting or encouraging him to commit offences or acts of violence or cruelty or in any other manner whatsoever.

Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009

An Act to provide for free and compulsory education to all children of the age of six to fourteen years.  Every child of the age of six to fourteen years, including a child, referred to in clause (d) or clause (e) of section 2, shall have the right to free and compulsory education in a neighbourhood school till the completion of his or her elementary education.

u/s 4. Where a child above six years of age has not been admitted in any school or though
admitted, could not complete his or her elementary education, then, he or she shall be admitted in a class appropriate to his or her age:
Provided that where a child is directly admitted in a class appropriate to his or her age, then, he or she shall, in order to be at par with others, have a right to receive special training, in such manner, and within such time-limits, as may be prescribed:
Provided further that a child so admitted to elementary education shall be entitled to free education till completion of elementary education even after fourteen years.

Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Rules , 2010 (English and Hindi)

Guidelines against Corporal Punishment

Corporal punishment involves, rapping on the knuckles, running on the school ground, kneeling down for hours, standing up for long hours, sitting like a chair, and beaten with a scale, pinched and slapped, child sexual abuse, torture, locking up children alone in classrooms, ‘electric shock’ and all other acts leading to insult, humiliation, physical and mental injury, and even death.The Supreme Court has banned corporal punishment for children on December 1, 2000, when it directed the State to ensure “that children are not subjected to corporal punishment in schools and they receive education in an environment of freedom and dignity, free from fear”.

Supreme Court Judgments

Sexual abuse to the children

15-11-1989 Gaurav Jain vs Union of India & Ors.
2 02-05-1990 Vishal Jeet vs Union of India & Ors.
3 26-05-2004 Sakshi vs Union of India & Ors.


12.11.2013 Lalita Kumari vs Govt. of Uttar Pradesh & Ors.[Constitution Bench]

Whether “a police officer is bound to register a First Information Report (FIR) upon receiving any information relating to commission of a cognizable offence under Section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (in short ‘the Code’) or the police officer has the power to conduct a “preliminary inquiry” in order to test the veracity of such information before registering the same?”

The following directions have been issued:

(i) Registration of FIR is mandatory under Section 154 of the Code, if the information discloses commission of a cognizable offence and no preliminary inquiry is permissible in such a situation.
(ii) If the information received does not disclose a cognizable offence but indicates the necessity for an inquiry, a preliminary inquiry may be conducted only to ascertain whether cognizable offence is disclosed or not.
(iii) If the inquiry discloses the commission of a cognizable offence, the FIR must be registered. In cases where preliminary inquiry ends in closing the complaint, a copy of the entry of such closure must be supplied to the first informant forthwith and not later than one week. It must disclose reasons in brief for closing the complaint and not proceeding further.
(iv) The police officer cannot avoid his duty of registering offence if cognizable offence is disclosed. Action must be taken against erring officers who do  not register the FIR if information received by him discloses a cognizable offence.
(v) The scope of preliminary inquiry is not to verify the veracity or otherwise of the information received but only to ascertain whether the information reveals any cognizable offence.
(vi) As to what type and in which cases preliminary inquiry is to be conducted will depend on the facts and circumstances of each case. The category of cases in which preliminary inquiry may be made are as under:
(a)Matrimonial disputes/ family disputes
(b)Commercial offences
(c) Medical negligence cases
(d)Corruption cases
(e) Cases where there is abnormal delay/laches in initiating criminal prosecution, for example, over 3 months delay in reporting the matter without satisfactorily explaining the reasons for delay. The aforesaid are only illustrations and not exhaustive of all conditions which may warrant preliminary inquiry.
(vii) While ensuring and protecting the rights of the accused and the complainant, a preliminary inquiry should be made time bound and in any case it should not exceed 7 days. The fact of such delay and the causes of it must be reflected in the General Diary entry.
(viii) Since the General Diary/Station Diary/Daily Diary is the record of all information received in a police station, we direct that all information relating to cognizable offences, whether resulting in registration of FIR or leading to an inquiry, must be mandatorily and meticulously reflected in the said Diary and the decision to conduct a preliminary inquiry must also be reflected, as mentioned above.

Compensation under Section 357-A of CrPC

03-05-2013 Ankush Shivaji Gaikwad vs State of Maharashtra

In Sarwan Singh and others v. State of Punjab (1978) 4 SCC 111, Balraj v. State of U.P. (1994) 4 SCC 29, Baldev Singh and Anr. v. State of Punjab (1995) 6 SCC 593, Dilip S. Dahanukar v. Kotak Mahindra Co.Ltd. and Anr. (2007) 6 SCC 528, this Court held that the
power of the Courts to award compensation to victims under Section 357 is not ancillary to other sentences but in addition thereto and that imposition of fine and/or grant of
compensation to a great extent must depend upon the relevant factors apart from such fine or compensation being just and reasonable.

Connected Laws:

Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986
Child Marriage Restraint Act, 1929
Children (Pledging of Labour) Act, 1933
Children Act, 1960

Commissions For Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005

Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000
Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015
Juvenile Justice Act, 1986

Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006

Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012

Right of Children To Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009

Women’s And Children’s Institutions (Licensing) Act, 1956

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