The Punjab Destitute and Neglected Children Act, 2007
Destitute and Neglected Children
(Under Section 3-K of PDNC Act 2007)
"Destitute and Neglected child" means a child who–
(i) is found begging; or
(ii) is found without having any home or settled place of abode and without any ostensible means of subsistence; or
(iii) has a parent or guardian who is unfit or incapacitated to exercise control over the child; or
(iv) lives in brothel or with a prostitute or frequently visits any place being used for the purpose of prostitution or is found to associate with any prostitute or any other person who leads an immoral or depraved life; or
(v) is being or is likely to be abused or exploited for immoral or illegal purpose or unconscionable gain; or
(vi) is beyond the parental control; or
(vii) has lost his parents or one of the parents and has no adequate source of income; or
(viii) is victim of an offence punishable under this Act or any other law for the time being in force and his parent or guardian is convicted or accused for the commission of such offence;
Rescue of Destitute and Neglected Children
(Under Section 24 of PDNC Act 2007)
A child protection officer may take into custody a destitute and neglected child and produce him before the Court within twenty-four hours of taking the child into such custody. Provided that where a destitute and neglected child is in the custody of his parent or guardian, the officer shall not take him into custody but shall in the first instance, make a report to the Court: Provided further that the first proviso shall not be applicable in case of a child who is found begging or is a victim of an offence alleged to have been committed by his parent or guardian.
(Under Section 25 of PDNC Act 2007)
Whenever a destitute and neglected child is taken into custody in accordance with section 24, he shall immediately be produced before the Court and if immediate production of the child before the Court is not possible due to any reason, shall immediately be taken to the nearest child protection institution for temporary custody till his production before the Court within the stipulated time.
Production of Child
(Under Section 26 of PDNC Act 2007)
Court may direct production of child by parent or guardian.–
The Court to which a report is made under the first proviso of section 24, may –
(i) call upon such parent or guardian to produce the child before it and show cause why the said child should not, during the pendency of the proceedings, be removed from his custody; and may order the child to be admitted in a child protection institution or on suitable surety being offered for the safety of such child and for his being brought before it, permit the child to remain in the custody of his parent or guardian; or
(ii) if it appears to the Court that the child is likely to be removed from the jurisdiction of the Court or is concealed, may issue a search warrant for the production of the child, and order his immediate admission to a child protection institution.
Warrant to Search for Child
(Under Section 30 of PDNC Act 2007)
(1) If it appears to a Court from information received on oath or solemn affirmation laid by any person who, in the opinion of the Court, is acting in the interest of the child that there are reasons to believe that a child is destitute and neglected child, the Court may issue warrant for the production of the child before it.
(2) The officer executing the warrant shall be accompanied by the person laying the information, if such person so desires and may also, if the Court by whom the warrant is issued so directs, be accompanied by a duly qualified medical practitioner or the police or both.
(3) If any such child is brought before the Court and the Court is satisfied that the child is a destitute and neglected child, it may deal with his custody in accordance with the provisions of this Act.
False, Frivolous or Vexatious Information
(Under Section 31 of PDNC Act 2007)
(1) If in any case in which information has been laid before a Court by any person under the provisions of section 30, the Court after such inquiry as it may deem necessary, is of the opinion that such information is false, frivolous or vexatious, the Court may, for reasons to be recorded in writing, direct that compensation, not exceeding fifty thousand rupees, as it may determine, be paid by such informer to the child or to an aggrieved person against whom the information was laid.
(2) Before making any order for the payment of compensation, the Court shall call upon the informer to show cause why he should not pay compensation.
(3) The Court may, by its order directing payment of compensation, further order that in case of default, the person ordered to pay such compensation shall suffer simple imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months.
(4) No person who has been directed to pay compensation under this section shall, by reason of such order, be exempted from any civil or criminal liability in respect of the information given by him, but any amount paid, as compensation shall be taken into account in any subsequent civil suit relating to such matter.
(5) When an order for payment of compensation is made under sub-section (1), the compensation shall not be paid to the person ordered to receive it before the expiry of one month in order to allow sufficient time to the informant to represent against any such order.
Period of Custody
(Under Section 32 of PDNC Act 2007)
Subject to any order of the Court or any direction of the Bureau, a child ordered to be admitted to a child protection institution shall be kept in such custody till he attains the age of eighteen years.
Contribution of Parents
(Under Section 33 of PDNC Act 2007)
(1) Where an order has been made for the admission of a child into child protection institution or giving the custody of the child to a suitable person, the Court may direct a parent, in a suitable case, to pay maintenance of the child at such rates as may be determined by the Court: Provided that while passing any such order, the Court shall take into consideration the capacity of the parent to pay maintenance.
(2) In case of non-compliance of the direction for the payment of maintenance issued under sub-section (1), the Court may recover the amount from the parent as arrears of land revenue.
(Under Section 34 of PDNC Act 2007)
Whoever takes a destitute and neglected child into custody or keeps him in contravention of the provisions of this Act, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with fine which may extend to fifty thousand rupees or with both.
Cruelty to Children
(Under Section 35 of PDNC Act 2007)
Whoever, not being a parent, having the actual charge of or control over a child, wilfully assaults, ill-treats, neglects, abandons or exposes him or causes or procures him to be assaulted, ill-treated, neglected, abandoned or exposed or negligently fails to provide adequate food, clothes or medical aid or lodging for the child in a manner likely to cause such child unnecessary mental and physical suffering, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with fine which may extend to fifty thousand rupees or with both: Provided that where some punishment is administered to a child by the person having lawful control or custody of the child, for any good or sufficient reason, it shall not be deemed to be an offence under this section.
Employing Child for Begging
(Under Section 36 of PDNC Act 2007)
Whoever employs any child for the purpose of begging or causes any child to beg or whoever having the custody, charge or care of a child connives at or encourages his employment for the purpose of begging and whoever uses a child, connives at or encourages his employment for begging shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with fine which may extend to fifty thousand rupees or with both.
(Under Section 37 of PDNC Act 2007)
Giving intoxicating liquor or narcotic drug to child.–
Whoever gives or causes to be given to any child any intoxicant or narcotic drug, except upon the prescription of duly qualified medical practitioner, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years or with fine which may extend to fifty thousand rupees or with both.
Permitting Child to Enter Places Where Liquor or Narcotic Drugs are Sold
(Under Section 38 of PDNC Act 2007)
(i) takes a child to any place where an intoxicant is served or consumed; or
(ii) being the proprietor, owner or a person in charge of such place, permits a child to enter such place; or
(iii) Causes or procures a child to go to such place; shall be punished with fine which may extend to fifty thousand rupees.
Inciting Child to Bet or Borrow
(Under Section 39 of PDNC Act 2007)
Whoever, by words, spoken or written, or by signs, or otherwise, incites or attempts to incite a child to make any bet or wager or to enter into or take any share or interest in any betting or wagering transaction shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with fine which may extend to fifty thousand rupees or with both.
Exposure to Seduction
(Under Section 40 of PDNC Act 2007)
Whoever secures custody of a child ostensibly for any purpose but exposes such a child to the risk of seduction, sodomy, prostitution or other immoral conditions, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years or with fine which may extend to fifty thousand rupees or with both.
Abetting Escape of Child
(Under Section 41 of PDNC Act 2007)
(a) knowingly assists or induces, directly or indirectly, a child admitted in a child protection institution to escape from the institution or from the custody of a suitable person to whom custody of the child has been entrusted by the court; or
(b) Knowingly harbors, conceals, connives at or prevent form returning to child protection institution or to any person to whom the custody of the child was entrusted by the Court or assists or connives at so doing; shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years or with fine which may extend to fifty thousand rupees or with both.