In a fairly productive Budget Session, the Union Cabinet has thus far approved amendments to two existing acts – the Juvenile Justice Act, and the Negotiable Instruments Act..The Cabinet has also given its assent to the introduction of the Commercial Courts Bill..Here’s a look at the salient features of the proposed legislations:.Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill 2014.The most disputed change to the existing Act in the wake of recent cases is the fact that a juvenile between the ages of 16-18 can be tried as an adult for heinous offences. A “heinous” offence is defined in the Bill as an offence for which the minimum punishment is imprisonment for seven years or more. The Juvenile Justice Board will be tasked with conducting preliminary inquiry into the nature of the offence and other circumstances. Such inquiry is required to be completed within a month..This particular clause has proved to be highly contentious, with some experts such as Swagata Raha arguing that the JJB is meant to act from the point of view of the child, rather than decide whether the child should be pushed into the adult criminal justice system..The Bill had come before a Parliamentary Standing Committee, which released its report in February this year. Changes were suggested to the Bill after deliberations with the Ministry of Women and Child Development. These changes include the removal of Clause 7, which proposed to try persons above the age of 21 as adults for offences committed when they were between the ages of 16-18..The Bill proposes the setting up of Juvenile Justice Boards and Child Welfare Committees in every district. It also brings in changes to adoption procedures. A single person is now eligible to adopt a child, however, a single male is not allowed to adopt a girl child. The Bill also provides for ‘aftercare’ of persons between 18-21 years who have left institutional care, with a view to help them enter mainstream society..Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Bill, 2015.The most relevant change to the Negotiable Instruments Act of 1881 is the issue of jurisdiction for trying cases of cheque bouncing. Under the Bill, the offence of rejection/return of cheque under section 138 of the NI Act will be enquired into and tried only by a Court within whose local jurisdiction the bank branch of the payee, where the payee presents the cheque for payment is situated..Clarity as to the procedure u/s 138 of the NI Act has been sought before the courts on previous occasions. Last year, the Supreme Court issued guidelines for the speedy disposal of cheque bouncing cases..This move will come as succour to financial institutions who have faced difficulties in interpreting the jurisdictional issue as well as to the courts in which a multitude of cheque bouncing cases are pending..Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts and Commercial Bill, 2015.The Law Commission, in its 253rd Report, had suggested the establishment of Commercial Courts to ensure the speedy disposal of high value commercial suits..According to the Bill, Commercial Divisions are to be set up in those High Courts which exercise ordinary original civil jurisdiction such as Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta, Madras, and Himachal Pradesh. These Commercial Divisions will exercise jurisdiction over all cases and applications relating to commercial disputes..Commercial Courts are to be set up in states and UTs whose high courts do not have ordinary original civil jurisdiction. These Commercial Courts will be treated on par with District Courts. The minimum pecuniary jurisdiction of the Commercial Courts and Divisions shall be 1 crore..Commercial Appellate Divisions shall be set up in all the High Courts to hear appeal against orders of Commercial Divisions and of Commercial Courts..In a move to reduce pendency figures, all pending commercial suits having a value of 1 crore or more will be transferred to these Commercial Courts or Divisions.