HC Pulls Up Govt Over Non-Availability Of Staff In JJBs, CWCs

SRINAGAR —The J&K High Court on Monday pulled up government over non-availability of the staff in Juvenile Justice Boards and Child Welfare Committees.  

Hearing a Public Interest Litigation, a division bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Alok Aradhe observed that “if the state Government is not in a position to provide the staff to JJBs and CWCs, then send children conflicting with law to outside the state.”

The bench observed that the trial of these children was hampered which should not have happened in ordinary course.

The children who are involved in different offences are not being given proper and fair trial, the bench said. The “sorry state of affairs”, court said, shall not continue in future.

The Court has observed that “cosmetic compliance” without following the mandate of discharging duties on ground would not be continued further.  

On September 14, the court recorded in its order the 5th interim status report received from the Chairperson of the Selection Cum Oversight Committee (SCOC) regarding implementation of J&K Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2013 and the Rules of 2014 framed thereunder. The Chairperson pointed out that 22 Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) and 22 Child Welfare Committees (CWC) have become functional and the cases pending against the juveniles in conflict with law have been transferred to the respective Juvenile Justice Board. 

However, the chairperson said that the biggest “impediment” in making these boards functional was non-availability of the staff prescribed under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2013 and Rules framed thereunder. 

It was pointed out that as on date (September 14) staff from District Child Protection Units (DCPUs) has been deployed with these JJ Boards and CWCs. Further, it was stated that the District Child Protection United comprises of District Child Protection Officer; Probationary Officer (Institutional Care); Probationary Officer (Non-institutional Care); Legal Probationary Officer; Counsellor; Outreach Worker; Social Worker, etc., and each of officials has his/ her sphere of duty identified under the scheme. 

It was pointed out that the deployment of staff from District Child Protection Units was no answer to the problem and as a result of the shifting of the staff, the DEPUs have been made dysfunctional.

“Let copies of the 5th interim status report of Chairperson Selection Cum Oversight Committee, be made available to all the counsels appearing in the matter by the Registry. The same is required to be examined by them and submissions made on the next date of hearing,” the court had said.




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