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As per Indian law, a minor cannot be convicted in the same manner as an adult. Also, a child can never be imprisoned or given a death sentence.

Indian Law: Juvenile Justice Act Governs Juveniles and Minors

As per Indian law, the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, defines a juvenile as a person below the age of 18 years. The Act intends to provide care and protection to juveniles, who violate laws in India. The Act intends to settle the issues in the best interest of children and not with an intention to punish them under criminal law. Indian Laws on Child welfare According to Indian law, estimating a child’s actual age is of utmost importance for forensic practitioners, particularly when an accused claims to be juvenile before the court. Typically, the court shall take necessary evidence to determine the actual age so that there is no vagueness around it. The court shall also record the forensic findings so that if it is proved that the accused was a juvenile on the day of commission of the offence, the case shall be forwarded to the Juvenile Justice Board.

Indian law pertaining to the commission of crimes by juveniles stipulates that an offence commissioned by a child, below the age of 7 years, is not punishable. Further, the age of criminal responsibility is raised to 12 years, in case the child has not attained the ability to understand the consequences of his/her action.

If a minor is taken away by someone other than the parent/guardian without their knowledge or consent, the criminal law in India will hold it as an offence of kidnapping or abduction. The age limit is 16 years for boys and 18 years for girls.

Indian law recognizes a child as a competent witness, except for a child who is of 6 years or below. Indian law provides that evidence from a competent child witness; can form the basis of conviction. Section 118, of the Evidence Act provides that credibility of such a child witness depends on his ability to understand the answers, reliability, competency and circumstances of the case.

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