JJ Board summons SHO for detaining juvenile

On September 23, a FIR was registered under section 363 RPC - kidnapping a minor - in police station Rainawari about abduction of a girl who according to police was recovered the next day.

SHAFAQ SHAH
Srinagar, Publish Date: Nov 13 2018 1:25AM | Updated Date: Nov 13 2018 1:25AM
JJ Board summons SHO for detaining juvenileRepresentational Pic

The recently set up Juvenile Justice Board of Srinagar has asked the station house officer of Rainawari police station to explain why a juvenile was illegally detained on “false and baseless charges”, questioning the police jurisdiction in the case. 

The Board, which started functioning from August and comprises one principal magistrate, Parvaiz Iqbal and two members Khair-un-Nisa and Dr Asima Hasan, has come down heavily on the police for violating rules of Juvenile Justice (Care and protection of children) Act 2013 that strictly prohibits detaining juveniles. 

On September 23, a FIR was registered under section 363 RPC -- kidnapping a minor -- in police station Rainawari about abduction of a girl who according to police was recovered the next day.

According to a police document accessed by Greater Kashmir, the Investigating officer (IO) recorded the statement of the witness on the day the case was registered and the witnesses expressed apprehension that the girl has been abducted by the “accused”.  

However, despite no allegation of rape made against the juvenile he was charged under section 376 RPC which deals with charges of sexual assault. 

Initially the juvenile in question, the document reads, was kept in police custody for six days from September 24 to 29. His police remand was later extended to October 6.

In the meantime on October 3, the statement of the girls’ father was recorded by IO under law in which the complainant contradicted his own complaint stating “his daughter was not abducted or kidnapped by anyone, but she had gone to her aunt’s place.”

But the magistrate remanded the “accused” juvenile to judicial custody for 15 days until October 20.

During this period the “accused” filed an application for bail u/s 13 of JJ Act, 2013 claiming juvenility.

The IO submitted his report before the JJ Board on October 17, stating “that on the complaint of father of the girl FIR no 73/2018 for offences u/s 363 RPC was registered and on recovery of girl and after her medical examination offence u/s 376 RPC was added.”

After going through details of the case the Board has raised six legal queries.

 “Why has the age of the ‘accused’ not determined at the time of his arrest. How the offence of 376 RPC was added to the list of charge against the ‘accused’ when neither the girl nor her parents or any other witness has anywhere alleged that the rape has been committed on her. How a medical report has been found sufficient to accuse the ‘accused’ for offence of rape.”

The Board also questions why the IO, despite knowing that the “accused” is a juvenile did not comply with the requirement of the JJ ACT 2013, and why the SHO entrusted the investigation to a head constable when the law requires investigation in the cases of rape and other serious offences be done by the officer not below the rank of sub-inspector.

Lastly, the Board asks why even after knowing about the juvenility of the accused the juvenile welfare officer of the police station was not involved in the investigation and Probation Officer not informed about the registration of FIR. 

Besides, no social investigation report, social background report or the involved juvenile’s version of incident was recorded.

“So after the cumulative consideration of the above facts, it is ordered that the SHO Police Station Rainawari, Juvenile Welfare officer of police station Rainawari and IO of the case shall remain present before the board on 13th of Nov and shall explain their position vis-a vis the queries (supra) raised by the board, failing which necessary action will be taken,” the order issued by the Board reads.

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