Section 56 – Power of competent authority to discharge and transfer juvenile or child – Juvenile Justice Act

Provided that the total period of stay of the juvenile or the child in a children’s home or a special home or a fit institution or under a fit person shall not be increased by such transfer.

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The section empowers the competent authority or the local authority to discharge a juvenile in conflict with law or a child in need of care and protection from—(i) the Children’s Homes, or (ii) the Special Home or to transfer him to another Children’s Home or the Special Home as the case may be; in the interest of the juvenile or child. It may order such discharge or transfer with or without conditions as it deems fit.

As provided in the proviso to this section, the total period of stay of the juvenile or child cannot be extended by such an order of discharge or transfer.

The competent authority or the local authority also has the power under this section to transfer a juvenile in conflict with law or a child in need of care and protection from Children’s Home or Special Home to the custody of a fit person or from the custody of one person to the custody of another person.

Normally, the provisions of Section 56 are invoked when the discharge or transfer of juvenile or child becomes necessary consequent to his no longer remaining a juvenile or child on crossing the prescribed age limit of 18 years under the Act or he does not need protection or care any longer.

It must further be stated that the J.J. Act also authorises the Board or the State Government to make an order for reducing the period of stay of a juvenile or a child in the Children’s Home or the Special Homes when it thinks it proper to do so in the interest of the juvenile or the child.