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Parens patriae

Parens patriae

Parens patriae is a doctrine that allows the state to step in and serve as a guardian for children, the mentally ill, the incompetent, the elderly, or disabled persons who cannot care for themselves. The parens patriae doctrine was gradually applied to children throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and has since evolved from one granting absolute rights to the sovereign to one more associated with rights and obligations of the state and courts towards children and incapacitated adults Childhood is the happiest time of a person’s life, which also mould him for his future life. Childhood experiences paves the way towards the development of criminality, however, not all criminals reveal their criminality early in life. The term juvenile delinquency applies to violation of criminal code and certain patterns of behavior that are not approved for children and young adolescents. Juvenile delinquency is a gate way to adult crime. Large percentages of the criminals who have their carrier in this field have their roots in childhood criminality. This is causing serious problems all over the world. Today it has become a topic of great concern and needs to be discussed at a serious note. Unlike an adult person a Juvenile, having not attained prescribed age, cannot be held liable for his criminal act. The age criteria for being a juvenile vary from country to country and state to state. The determination of age where a person is responsible for his action is always debatable. Here we should look into, The Juvenile Justice (Care And Protection Of Children) Act, 2015. The problem in the implementation of the Juvenile Justice Act is always concentrated on one part of the law that addresses only "children in conflict with the law" and ignores other category of "children in need of care and protection". Under the Indian Constitution, the Government is mandated to protect the right of child and provide care and protection to them. It is important to underline that neglecting children in need of care and protection leads children to "children in conflict with law". However the rate of crimes are on the increase. Is it because of the inadequacy of the law or due to the implementation of the law. Ageing is a natural process, which inevitably occurs in human life cycle. It brings with it a host of challenges in the life of the elderly. The number of elderly people in India is increasing rapidly. . With fast changing socio-economic scenario, industrialization, rapid urbanization, higher aspirations among the youth and the increasing participation of women in the workforce, roots of traditional joint family system has been eroding very fast. In such changing situations, majority of older people, who have passed most part of their life with their joint/extended families are on the verge of isolation or marginalization in old age. At this age, when they need family support most, they have to live on their own. Even basic needs and rights of many of them are not taken care of. Social marginalization, loneliness, isolation and even negligence in old age lead violation of Human Rights of Older people. ‘UN Principles of Ageing’ (1982) is considered the basic guideline for promotion of the rights of senior citizens. Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007, aimed at serving the elderly live in self-respect and peace. Even now so many issues have to be addressed so as to mitigate the suffering of the senior citizens The laws, policies, practices and the availability of information in relation to juveniles and senior citizens do not display the required concern in safeguarding their interests. It is therefore, the need of the hour to understand the multi-dimensions of the problems faced by juveniles and the senior citizens, so as to find the lacunae in the legal framework to suggest measures for the avoidance of the same.

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