Govt Dillydallying Juvenile Justice Act

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Srinagar : Despite hundreds of teenagers languishing in jails, the J&K government has bypassed laws as two years after passing the Juvenile Justice ACT (JJA) in the state; the act still awaits implementation on the ground.

State Coordinator “Save The Children”, Sharief Ahmed Bhat Saturday said the act has not been implemented in the state. “There is no proper structure in place which the act demands after being passed. According to JJA, the Juvenile House should be the last resort. A minor needs to be sent to Juvenile house, if the other options exhaust,” he said.

Sharief said in absence of the implementation of the JJA, all the cases of the minors are being heard by the CJM courts or other lower courts, which actually according the act should be pleaded in the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB).

Ironically, no JJB exists in the state till date as the successive state governments have failed to streamline the implementation of the much needed act.

As per the act the state government is bound to set up JJB’s and Child Welfare Committee (CWC) at district levels, but nothing such has come up till date.

With JJA passed in J&K, the lodging of minors in jails and police stations is seen as a gross human rights violation and also bypassing the law passed by the state itself.

“Had the JJA been implemented in the state it would have been a sigh of relief for hundreds of minors who have been lodged in different jails and police stations,” said Wahid Ahmed, a law student.

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