Juvenile Justice Act-Kashmir Version


I am inhabited to the part of the part of world where a law takes no action no matter if it is a high court or session court. In this subjugated chorus, the laws that are draconian and black are only ones that hit the execution. The laws which can bring justice, ensure misuse and abuse of power barely are put forth. Despite the favorable and selected implementation of laws, lawlessness is running down the veins of the persons who constitute these. It is authenticated now, the mere enforcement of laws, acts and parts are just restricted within the brim of a sacred book of constitution, and be it our indigenous or Indian. The harsh fact is that everyone is in race to champion the ethos of democracy and aim to present their selves as hero’s and saviors of human dignity, race or culture.

Laws are enforced to safeguard the individual as well as collective interests of the people of a state. And laws that are injustice are not laws at all. But unfortunately in this part of my world it seems that only un-just laws have been enforced. This makes our society lawlessness in simple terminology. 

Talking about our state Kashmir, we have our own stack of laws in one constitution book but how many of these laws have safeguarded our interests? We are not far behind in the race of show-up campaign. We have enacted laws on par with those available in market. One such law is juvenile justice act. 25 years of conflict in Jammu and Kashmir has led to considerable social problems across the state particularly in Kashmir region. The people of the region have witnessed highest levels of violence and civil unrest since insurgency aroused in 1989. In the same year India became signatory to United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). Subsequently, the GoI went on to define and create the ‘Juvenile Justice Act 2000’. The state Government of Jammu and Kashmir tried to champion the issue by following the footsteps of center and later ended by upholding ‘Jammu and Kashmir Juvenile Justice   Act 1997’.

It has been more than 18 years since Jammu and Kashmir Juvenile Justice Act 1997 came into being. But yet our below 16 teenagers are put behind the bars while enacting unjust law like Public Safety Act. 18 years on and Kashmir still awaits its first juvenile justice home.

 Minors in Jammu & Kashmir are arrested under this stringent Public Safety Act for offences such as stone-pelting and incarcerated in jails together with adults. With neither a functioning Juvenile Justice Act nor juvenile courts for young offenders as in other parts of the country, these children emerge from jail as traumatized and radicalized beings. Now the question is “why the double stand?” If Public Safety Act is very much sacred for its enact ion, then why to masquerade as the champion of child rights?  

Unfortunately voluntary organizations have never used this significant legislation in any case while handling minor cases. 

When organizations can uphold RTI Act 2006, why can’t we fight about the cause of a teen ager? 

People understand the compulsions of government to overthrow black act like PSA but is it unfeasible for Syed Basharat Hussain Bukhari to enact this law in true essence and set up Juvenile Justice home for such minors. Juvenile Justice home will be far more effective than pellet-guns.

Imbisat Makhdoomi is from Anantnag and can be mailed at [email protected]

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