14. Inquiry by Board regarding child in conflict with law.-
(1) Where a child alleged to be in conflict with law is produced before Board, the Board shall hold an inquiry in accordance with the provisions of this Act and may pass such orders in relation to such child as it deems fit under sections 17 and 18 of this Act.
(2) The inquiry under this section shall be completed within a period of four months from the date of first production of the child before the Board, unless the period is extended, for a maximum period of two more months by the Board, having regard to the circumstances of the case and after recording the reasons in writing for such extension.
(3) A preliminary assessment in case of heinous offences under section 15 shall be disposed of by the Board within a period of three months from the date of first production of the child before the Board.
(4) If inquiry by the Board under sub-section (2) for petty offences remains inconclusive even after the extended period, the proceedings shall stand terminated:
Provided that for serious or heinous offences, in case the Board requires further extension of time for completion of inquiry, the same shall be granted by the Chief Judicial Magistrate or, as the case may be, the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, for reasons to be recorded in writing.
(5) The Board shall take the following steps to ensure fair and speedy inquiry, namely:-
(a) at the time of initiating the inquiry, the Board shall satisfy itself that the child in conflict with law has not been subjected to any ill-treatment by the police or by any other person, including a lawyer or probation officer and take corrective steps in case of such ill-treatment;
(b) in all cases under the Act, the proceedings shall be conducted in simple manner as possible and care shall be taken to ensure that the child, against whom the proceedings have been instituted, is given child-friendly atmosphere during the proceedings;
(c) every child brought before the Board shall be given the opportunity of being heard and participate in the inquiry;
(d) cases of petty offences, shall be disposed of by the Board through summary proceedings, as per the procedure prescribed under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974);
(e) inquiry of serious offences shall be disposed of by the Board, by following the procedure, for trial in summons cases under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974);
(f) inquiry of heinous offences,-
(i) for child below the age of sixteen years as on the date of commission of an offence shall be disposed of by the Board under clause (e);
(ii) for child above the age of sixteen years as on the date of commission of an offence shall be dealt with in the manner prescribed under section 15.