J&K to establish 21 juvenile justice boards this month

The government is all set to establish 21 juvenile justice boards in Jammu and Kashmir this month, documents in possession of Greater Kashmir reveal.

The documents mention that members for the juvenile justice boards have been selected in 21 districts and the boards will be notified in next few days as per rule 90 (10) of the J&K juvenile justice rules of 2014.

“The board members for district Bandipora will be finalised soon. So far, no member has applied for the posts in the district,” the documents reveal.

The juvenile justice (care and protection of children) Act, 2013—the legislation providing for development of children in need of care and protection as well as the rehabilitation of the juvenile delinquents—also seeks creation of observation homes, special homes, shelter homes and children homes to fulfill its mandate.

The juvenile justice Act states that the government may, within a period of one year from the date of commencement of the Act—by notification in the government gazette—constitute in district or a group of districts in each division of the state one or more juvenile justice boards for exercising the powers and discharging the duties conferred on such boards in relation to juveniles “in conflict with law.”

The boards should comprise a judicial magistrate of the first class and two social workers and have the powers to deal exclusively with all proceedings under the Act, relating to juveniles “in conflict with law.”

In absence of the juvenile justice boards, the chief judicial magistrate handles the cases of juveniles.

The union ministry for women and child development had given its nod to the state government to constitute 22 juvenile justice boards (one board in each district) as well as child welfare committees.

The CWCs consist of four members, as the government may think fit to appoint, of whom at least one shall be a woman and another an expert on matters concerning children. 

The official documents say that by February 9, 2018, the CWCs will be constituted and thereafter the institutional structures like observation homes, shelter homes and special homes will be taken up to be established.

According to an official source, the government many a time intended to constitute the juvenile justice boards and child welfare committees and also floated the advertisements for the same. But, the source said, no eligible candidates applied against the advertisements.

Several advertisements were floated through social media as well.

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