Under the guidance and patronage of Chief Patron of the J&K State Judicial Academy, Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar, Chief Justice, High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and governing body of the State Judicial Academy comprising Chairman Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar and the member Justice Janak Raj Kotwal in collaboration with Save the Children, organized one day workshop on Juvenile Justice System for Judicial Officers and Public Prosecutors of Jammu province.
The workshop was inaugurated by Justice Kotwal, Judge in presence of Secretary, Social Welfare Department, Sajad Ahmad Khan, State Programme Manager, Save the Children, Sharif Bhat, resource person Maharukh Adenwalla, Judicial Officers and Public Prosecutors.
Justice Kotwal, in his inaugural address, emphasized that the role of the judicial officers in implementation of Juvenile Justice Act and Rules is very crucial and expressed hope that the workshop will sensitize the participants about their role and responsibility so that the object of the Act is achieved in letter and spirit.
Proceedings of the workshop were conducted by Abdul Rashid Malik, Director, J&K State Judicial Academy.
Speaking on the occasion, he said the main objective of the Act is to establish a uniform framework for care, protection, maintenance, welfare, training, education, exploitation and vulnerability to deviant behaviour. He said that Juvenile Justice Boards (JJBs) have enormous powers and adjudication of the case is just one of the functions of JJB.
The quality of justice which is to be delivered by the Juvenile Justice Courts is similar to that of superior courts. He also informed that considerations for grant of bail under Juvenile Justice Act are different from those under criminal law and bail is generally perceived as a matter of right of the child. The work of the Board is to decide whether a child has come in conflict with law or not and to find out what were the factors which brought the child to a state of delinquency and then to decide further course of action which could reform, mainstream and rehabilitate the child.
Malik emphasized that in absence of JJBs, the purpose and objective of the Act cannot be realized and the need of the hour is to establish these vital units in the State as early as possible.
He also thanked the SAVE – Children for their support and cooperation and appreciated the role of the organization in preventing children from abuse, neglect and exploitation. He also thanked the Judicial Officers and Public Prosecutors for their participatory role in the workshop.
Sajad Ahmad Khan, assured that Social Welfare Department will work in close liaison with the judiciary in implementing the provisions of Act and Rules in the State. He informed that the Central Government has introduced Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) based on the principles of 'protection of child rights' and 'best interests of the child' and aims to institutionalize services for emergency outreach, family and community based care, counselling and support. He assured the State Judicial Academy that immediate steps will be taken to constitute the JJBs.
Sharif Bhat, gave a brief account of Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) by informing the participants that the scheme is aimed at creating a safety net for protection of all children across the country with special focus on vulnerable children. He gave a brief history of the working of the Save – the Children organization.