The Reformatory Schools Act 1897


(Act No, VIII of 1897).
[11th March, 1897]

An Act to amend the law relating to Reformatory Schools  and to make further provision for dealing with youthful offenders.

WHEREAS it is expedient to amend the law relating to Re­formatory Schools and to make further. provision for dealing with youthful offenders;
it is hereby enacted as follows:—

1—preliminary I.     (1) This Act may be called the Reformatory Schools Act, 1897

2[     *      *      *          *          *          *          *          *]

3l(3)3 This section and section 2 shall extend to 4[the whole of Pakistan]. 5[The other sections shall extend in the first instance to Sind and the Karachi Division and East Pakistan, but the Govern­ment of 6[N. W. F. P.] may at any time by notification in the Official Gazette, extend these sections to other parts of [N. W.F.P.] from such day as day be fixed in any such notification.]
2 and 3.    [Repeals].-   Rep, by the Repealing Act.     1938 (1 of
1983), s. 2 and Schedule.

1.      For Statement of Objects and Reasons, Gazette of India, 1896, Pt. V,p. 187 ;for Report of the Select Committee, tee i6jW,1897PtVI,p. 55; and for Proceedings in Council ibid..189«,Pt. V. pp. 222 and 251; and ibid., 1896 Pt. VL pp. 44 and 68.
This Act has been declared to be in force in Baluchistan by the British   Baluchistan Laws 1913 (JI of 1913). s. 3 and Sell. I.
It has also been extended to the Leased Areas of Baluchistan, -sc-e .the" Leased  Areas (Laws Order, 1950 (G.G.O. 3 of 1950) : and applied in the Federated Areas of Baluchistan,see Gazette of India, 1937. Pt. I. p. 1499.
2.  The word "and" at theend) of sub-section (1), and sub-section (i), rep by the Repealing and
Amending Act, 1914 (X of 1914), s. 3 and Sch. IT.
3.      Subs, by A.O., 1949, Sch., for the original sub-section (3) as amended by A. O., 1937.
4.      Subs, by the Central Laws (Statute Reform) Ordinance, 1960 (XXI of 1960), s. Sand 2nd Sch., for "all the Provinces" (with effect from 14th October, 1955).
5       Subs, by A.O.. 1964, Art. 2 and Sch., for certain words as amended by the Repealing, and Amending Ordinance, 1961 a of 1961), and A.O., 1961.
6.      Subs, by N. W. F. P. I,.O. 1975.. We«t Pakistan"

[1897- Act VIII                      Reformatory Schools 

4.    In this Act, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context.

(a)   “Youthful offender.” Means any boy who has been convicted of any offence punishable with transportation or imprisonment and who, at the time of such conviction, was under the age of fifteen years:

(b)   “Inspector-General” includes any officer appointed by the 1[Provincial Government] to perform all or any of the duties imposed by this Act on the Inspector- General and.

2[*       *          *          *          *          *          *]


5.   3[*      *     *     *]  The  1[Provincial Government] may-

Power to establish and discontinue Reformatory Schools.

(a)   Establish and maintain Reformatory School at such places as it may think fit;

(b)   Use as Reformatory Schools kept by persons willing to act in conformity with such rules, consistent with this Act, as the 1[Provincial Government] may prescribe in this behalf;

(c)   Direct that any school so established or used shall cease to exist as a Reformatory School or to be used as such.

6.    Every school so established or used must provide-

(a)   sufficient means of separating the inmates at night;

(b)   proper sanitary arrangements, water supply, food, clothing, and bedding for the youthful offenders, detained therein;

(c)   the means of giving such youthful offenders industrial training;

1.      Subs. by A.O, 1937, for “Local Government.”

2.      Cluase (c) omitted by A.O, 1949, Sch.
3.      The words “with the previous sanction of the G.G. in C.” rep. by the Decentralization Act, 1914 (II of 1914). S. 2 and Sch. Pt. I.

       Reformatory Schools                      1897 Act VIII
(d) an infirmary or proper place for the reception of such youthful offenders when sick.

Inspection of Geometry School.

7. (1) Every school intended to be established or used as a Re­formatory School shall, before being used as such, be inspected by the Inspector-General, and if he finds that the requirements of section 6 have been complied with, and that, in his opinion, such school is fitted for the reception of such youthful offenders as may be sent there­under this Act, he shall certify to that effect, and such certificate shall be published in the Official Gazette], together with an order of the 2[Provincial Government] establishing the school as a Reformatory School or directing that it shall be used as such, and the school shall thereupon b* deemed to be a Reformatory School.

(2) livery such school shall, from time to time, and at least once in every year, be visited by the said Inspector-General, who shall send to the 2[Provincial Government] a report on the condition of the school in such form as the 2[Provincial Government] may prescribe.

Power of courts to direct youth full effendexs to be sent Reformatory schools.

(1) Whenever any youthful offender is sentenced to trans­it portation or imprisonment, and is, in the judgment of the Court by which he is sentenced, a proper person to be an inmate of a Reforma­tory School, the Court may, subject to any rules made by the 2[Provin­cial Government], direct that, instead of undergoing his sentence, he shall be sent to such a school, and be there detained for a period which shall be not less than three or more than seven years.

(2) The powers so conferred on the court by this section shall be exercised only by (a) the High Court, (b) a Court of Session, (r) a District Magistrate, and (d) any Magistrate specially empowered by the 2[Provincial Government] in this behalf, and may be exercised by such Courts whether the case comes before them originally or on appeal.
(3) The Provincial Government] may make rules for—
3(a) defining what youthful offenders should be sent to Re­formatory Schools, having regard to the nature of their offences or oilier considerations, and
(b) regulating the periods for which youthful offenders may be sent to such schools according to their ages or other considerations.

1.      Subs, by A.O., 1937   "For local official Gazette'
2.      Subs, ibid for "Local Government'.

3.      For rules made under this clause by the Punjab Government, see Punjab Gazette, datedthe id October, 1903, Extraordinary, p.3.

Act VH118f7]                                                                        Reformatory Schools             

9. (1) When any Magistrate not empowered to pass an order under the last foregoing section is of opinion that a youthful offender convicted by him is a proper person to be an inmate of a Reformatory School, he may, without passing sentence, record such opinion and submit his proceedings and forward the youthful offender to the Magistrate to whom he is subordinate.

Procedure where Magistrate is not empowered to pass an order under section 8.

(2) The Magistrate to whom the proceedings are so submitted may make such farther inquiry (if any) as he may-thinks  fit rind pas? such sentence and order for the detention in a   Reformatory School . -of the youthful offender, or otherwise, as he  might  have passed if such youthful offender had been originally tried by him.

10. The officer in charge of a prison in which a youthful offender is confined, in execution of a sentence of imprisonment, may bring him, if he has not then attained the age of fifteen years' before the District Magistrate within whose jurisdiction such prison is situate; and such Magistrate may, if such youthful offender appears to be a proper person to be an inmate of a Reformatory School, direct that, instead of undergoing the residue of his sentence, he shall be sent to a Reformatory School, and there detained for a period which shall be subject to the same limitations as are prescribed by or under section  8 with reference to He period   of detention thereby authorized.

Power of Magistrates to direct boys under fifteen sentenced to imprisonment to be sent to Reformatory schools.

(1) Before directing any youthful offender to be 'sent to a Re-" formatory School under section 8, section1), or section 10, the Court or Magistrate shall inquire into the question of his age and, after tak­ing such evidence (if any) as may be deemed necessary, shall record a , finding thereon, crating his  age as  nearly    as may be.

Preliminary inquiry and finding as to age of youthful offender.

(2) A similar inquiry shall be made and finding recorded by every Magistrate not empowered to pass an order under section 8 be­fore submitting his proceedings and forwarding the youthful offender to the District Magistrate us required by section 9, sub-section (1).

12. Every youthful offender directed by a Court or Magistrate to be .sent to a Reformatory School shall be sent to such Reformatory School as the '[Provincial Government] may, by general or special order, appoint for the  reception of youthful offenders so dealt with H; such Court o-r Magistrate:

Government to determine Reformatory School to which such offenders shall be sent.

Provided that, if accommodation in a Reformatory School is not immediately available for such youthful offender, h? maybe detained in the juvenile ward or such other suitable part of a prison as the '[Provincial Government] may direct—-
(a)   until he can be sent to a Reformatory School.
(b)   until the term of his original sentence expires,

1.    Subs by A.O, 1937, for “Local Government.”

                                Reformatory School*                          .1897 Act Ylll
whichever event may first happen. Should the term of his original sentence first expire, he shall thereupon be released, but should he be sent to a Reformatory School, then the period of detention previously undergone shall be treated as detention in a Reformatory School

Persons found to be over eighteen years not to be detained in Reformatory Schools.

13. (1) If at any time after  a youthful offender-has been sent to Reformatory School it appears to the Committee of Visitors or Board 5- of Management, as the case may  be, that the age of such   youthful offender has been under stated in the order for detention,   and that he will attain the age of eighteen years before the expiration  of the period for which he has been ordered to be detained, they shall report the case for the orders of the '[Provincial Government]!

(2) No person shall be detained in a Reformatory School after he has been found by the  [Provincial Government] to have attai­ned the age of eighteen years.

Discharge or removal by order of Government.

14.   The J[Provincial Government] may at any rime order any you-rrthful offender—

(a)   to be discharged from a Reformatory School;
(b)   to be removed from one Reformatory School to another such school situate within the territories subject to such Government: Provided that the whole period of his detention in a Reformatory School shall not be increased by such removal.

Agreement between Provinces.

2 [15.   The Provincial Governments of any two Provinces may after mutual agreement, generally or specially, notify in their respec­tive Official Gazettes that any Reformatory School situated in one of the Provinces shall be available for the reception of youthful offenders directed to be sent to a Reformatory School by any Court or Magistrate in the other Province and may thereupon make provision for the removal of youthful offenders accordingly].

Certain orders not subject to appeal or revision.

16. Nothing contained in the 3Code of Criminal procedure. 1882, shall be construed to authorize any Court or Magistrate to alter or reverse in appeal or revision any order passed with respect to the age of a youthful offender or the substitution of an order for detention in a Reformatory School for transportation or imprisonment.

1.      Subs, by A.O. 1937, for “Local Government.”

2.      Subs. by A.O, 1937.
3.      Now the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (V 1898).

1897 Act-VIII]                                                                       Reformatory Schools                 

17.     (1) For the control arid  management of every Reformatory School the Provincial Government] shall appoint either (a) a Super­intendent and a Committee of Visitors,   or (b) a Board of Management.

Appointment of Superintendent and Committee of Visitors Board of Management.

(2) Every Committee and every Board so appointed must consist of not less than five persons. 2[                  ]

(3) The Provincial Government] may suspend or remove any Superintendent or any Member of a Committee or Board so appointed.

18. (I) Every Superintendent so appointed may, with the sanction of the Committee, by license under his hand, permit any youthful offender sent to a Reformatory School, who has attained the age of fourteen years, to live under the charge of any trust-worthy and respectable person named in the license, or any officer of Government or of a Municipality, being an employer of labour and willing to receive and take charge of him, on the condition that the employer shall keep such youthful offender employed at some trade, occupation or calling.

Superintendent may license youthful offenders to employers of labour.

20.    if during the term of the license the employer   named therein! dies, or ceased from business or to employ labour, or the period for4 which the youthful offender has been directed to be detained in the Re­formatory School expires, the license shall thereupon cease and   deter­mine.

Determination of license.

21. It" it appears to the Superintendent that the employer has ill-treated the youthful offender, or has not. adequately provided for his lodging and maintenance, the Superintendent may cancel the license.

Cancellation of license in case of ill-treatment.

22. (1) The Superintendent of a  Reformatory School shall be  deemed to be the guardian of every youthful offender detained in such school, within the meaning of 3Act No. XIX of 1850 (concerning the binding of apprentices).

Superintendent to be deemed guardian of youthful offenders.


1.      Subs, by A.O., 1937, for" Local Government."

2.      These words omitted by N. W. F. P. Ord No. III of 1985.
3.      The Apprentices Act, 1850.
Reformatory Schools                                                   [1897 Act VIII

Power to apprentice youthful offenders.

(2) If it appears to the Superintendent that any youthful off­
ender licensed under section 18 has behaved well during one or more
periods of his license, the Superintendent may, with the sanction of the
Committee, apprentice him under the provisions of the said Act,
and on such apprenticement the right to detain such youthful offender
in a Reformatory School shall cease, and the unexpired term(if any)
of his sentence shall be cancelled.

Duties of Committee of Visitors.

23. (I) Every Committee of Visitors appointed under section 17 for a Reformatory School shall, at least once in every month—

(a}   visit the school, to hear complaints and see that the require­ments of section 6 have been complied with, and that the management of the school is proper in all respects;
(b)   examine the punishment-book ;                                      
(c) bring any special cases to the notice of the Inspector-Gen­
eral ; and                                                                                                    .v
(d)   see that no person is illegally detained  in the school.
(2) If any member of a Committee of Visitors so appointed fails or neglects, during a period of six consecutive months, to visit the School and assist in the discharge of the duties aforesaid, he shall cease to be a member of such Committee,

Powers of Board of management.

24. If, in exercise of the power conferred by section 17, the 1 [Provincial Government] appoints a Board of Management for any Reformatory School, such Board shall have the power,, and perform the functions of the Superintendent under sections 18 to 22, both inclusive ; am the license mentioned in section 18 may be under the hand of their chairman ; and they shall be deemed to be the wiredrawn of the youthful offenders detained in such school.

Power to appoint Trustees or other Managers of a school to be a Board of Management.

25. The Provincial Government] may declare any body of Trust-ees or Managers of a school, who are willing to act in conformity with t the rules referred to in section 5, clause (b), to be a Board o " Management under this Act, and thereupon such body or Managers shall have all the powers and perform all the functions of such Board of Management.

Power of Board to make rules.

26. (1) With the previous sanction of the '{Provincial <.Jov3rnmcnlJ every Board of Management of a Reformatory School may fro? n time to time make rules consistent with this Act--

(i)    to prescribe the articles  which are  to be deemed to be "prohibited articles";  and

1.   Subs: by A.O., 1937, for "Local Government.

1897 Act VIII                                    Reformatory Schools  
(ii) to regulate—­
(a)   the conduct of business of the Board ;

(b)   the management of the school;

(c)   the education and industrial training of youthful offenders.

(d)   visits to, and  communication with, youthful offenders ;

(e)   the terms and conditions under which any articles declared by the Board to be "prohibited articles" may be intro­duced into or removed out of the school ;

(/)    the manner in which such articles are to be removed when introduced without due authority ;

(g)   the conditions and limitations under which such articles may be supplied outside the school to any youthful offe­nder under order of detention therein ;

(h)   the conditions on which die possession by any such youth­ful offender of such articles may be sanctioned;

(i)    the penalties to be imposed for the supply or possession of such articles when supplied or   possessed   without   due authority;

(j)    the punishment of offences com mi tied by youthful offend­ers ; and

(k)   the granting of licenses for the employment of youthful offenders.

(2) In the absence of; i Board of Management the ^Provincial Government] may make rules consistent with this Act to regulate foi any Reformatory School the matters mentioned in any clause of sub­section (1), other than clause (/:") (a), and also the mode in which the Committee of Visitors shall conduct their business.

IV—OFFENCES in rklation to reformatory  schools

27. Whoever, contrary to any rule made under section 26, introduces or removes or attempts by any means whatever to introduce or remove into or from any Reformatory School, or supplies o:

I.    Subs, by A.O., 19 v, for Government."

                         Reformatory  Schools                                                  [1897 Act. VIII

Or removal or supply of prohibited articles and any communication with youthful offenders.

attempts to supply outside the limits of any   Reformatory School to any youthful offender under order of detention  therein any prohibit
ed   article,

and every officer or person in charge of a Reformatory School who, contrary to any such rule, knowingly suffers any such articles to be introduced into or removed from any Reformatory School to be possessed by any youthful offender detained therein, or to be supplied to any such youthful offender outside its limits.
and whoever, contrary to any such rule, communicates or attempts to communicate with any such youthful offender,
and whoever abets any offence made punishable under this section.
shall, on conviction before a Magistrate, be liable to imprisonment to a term not exceeding six months, or to fine not exceeding two hundred rupees, or to both.

Penalty for abetting escape of youthful offender.

28.    Whoever abets an escape, or an attempt to escape,  on the part of   a   youthful  offender from  a  Reformatory School   or from the employer of such youthful offender, shall be punishable with im­prisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with fine not exceeding two hundred rupees, or with both.

Arrest of escaped youthful offender.

  29. A Police Officer may, without orders from a Magistrate and without a warrant, arrest any youthful offender sent to a Reformatory School under this Act, who has escaped from such school or from his employer, and take him back to such school or to his employer.

V- -miscellaneous
30. [Application of Act X/V of 1*69 to youthful offenders detain­ed in Reformatory Schools]. Rep. by the Prisoner* Act, 1900 (HI of !900). ,y. 53 and Schedule ///.

Power to deal in other ways with youthful offenders including girls.

31.     (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act or in any . other enactment for the time being in force, any Court may if it shall think fit, instead of sentencing any youthful offender to transportation or imprisonment or directing him to be detained in    a   Reformatory School,   order him to be—     "

(a) discharged after due admonition, or
(6) delivered to his parent or to his guardian or nearest adult rela­tive, on such parent, gurdian or relative executing a bond with or without sureties, as the Court may require! to be responsible for  the good behaviour  of the youthful of fender for any period not exceeding twelve months.

1897 Act Mil                          Reformatory Schools.                  

(2) For the purposes of this section die term "youthful offender' shall include a girl.

(3) The powers conferred on the Court by this section shall be exercised only by courts empowered by or under section 8.

(4) When any youthful offender is convicted by a Court not empowered to Act under this section and the Court is of opinion that the powers conferred by this section should be exercised in respect of such youthful offender, it may record such opinion and submit the proceedings and forward the youthful offender to the District Magis­trate to whom such Court is subordinate.

(5) The District Magistrate to whom the proceedings are so submitted may thereupon make such order or pass such sentence as he might have made or passed if the case had originally been tried by him.

32. When a youthful offender during his period of detention in a Reformatory School is again convicted by a Criminal Court, the sentence of such Court shall commence at once, notwithstanding anything to the contrary in section 397 of the ]Code of Criminal Procedure, 1882, but the Court shall forthwith report the matter to the 2rProyinciaJ Government], which shall have power to deal with the matter in any way in which it thinks fit.

Procedure when youthful offender under detention in a Reformatory School is again convicted and sentenced.

  1. Now the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (V of 1898).

2.                     Subs, by A.O., W7, for "Local Government."


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