HC directs establishing of juvenile homes
Srinagar, July 12: At time when lawyers were accusing police of booking children in different cases and keeping them in lock-ups, Jammu and Kashmir High Court directed the state government to establish juvenile boards, juvenile courts, separate juvenile homes and observation homes.
The division bench of the High Court passed the orders two public interest litigation cases. The petitioners advocate Yawar Ali Masoodi and Abdul Rashid Hanjura had submitted that the State has failed to implement the provisions of juvenile Justice Act.
They had informed the Court that the Sate government has failed to set-up Juvenile Homes and Juvenile Courts for the juveniles.
In response, the secretary to Government Revenue Department Ejaz Iqbal submitted to the Court that his department has examined the request of the Social Welfare Department for allot 30 kanals of land, 15 each in Jammu division and Kashmir province respectively for establishing Juvenile Homes.
He said the divisional commissioner Jammu and the divisional commissioner Kashmir have been directed to identify 15 kanals of the State land each at Jammu and Srinagar for construction of Juvenile Homes, Special Homes, Observation Homes for boys and girls.
The Court after hearing both the sides said there was basic difference between Juvenile Justice Act and the ordinary law.
The act says there should be special court that must be set up under the Act to adjudicate matters in which the accused are juveniles, below the age of 18 years. Under the law the State government has to constitute one or more Juvenile Boards for district or group of districts for dealing with matters where juveniles in conflict with law are dealt with. Under the Act the bail provisions for young offenders are more liberal than those applicable under the Criminal Procedure Code. The Section 18 of the act states that whether the juvenile commits a bailable or non-bailable offence, the child shall be released on bail with or without surety. If the law enforcing authority feels that the detention is necessary, under the law they can only detain to keep him observation home, not in prison or police station.
The Court directed the State Government to take all steps required to be taken under the provisions of the Act and the rules to implement the Act in letter and spirit within a period of three months. The petition was first filed in 2006 by Yawar Ali. Subsequently Abdul Rashid Hanjura also filed petition seeking implementation of the Juvenile Justice Act in the State.
Yawar Ali who had filed the petition as student in 2006, is now practicing in the High Court. He had prayed for shifting of all juveniles presently in detention should be shifted to police Station. Hanjura, a social activist had prayed that by not implementing the Act has adversely affecting the development of child who is being accused of in confrontation with law. “It exposes him to baneful influences and alienating him from society.”
The Court said that efforts of both the petitioners in bringing to the notice of the Court the failure of the Government in implementing the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act is commendable.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 12 Jul 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 12 Jul 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 13 Jul 2010 00:00:00 IST
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