JJ Act Implementation:Set Up More Observation Homes, HC Asks Govt

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SRINAGAR — The Jammu and Kashmir High Court today directed government to examine the possibility of setting up more Observation Homes to facilitate production of children before the Juvenile Justice Boards.

The court termed as “important issue” the difficulties faced in transportation of children lodged in two Observation Homes in the State before the Juvenile Justice Boards

Hearing a Public Interest Litigation, a division bench of and, if necessary, the possibility of setting up these Observation Homes in appropriate rented premises be examined. 

“A tabulated report meeting the directions earlier passed and the above directions shall be filed before the next date of hearing,” the court said  and directed the Mission Director, Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS), Kashmir, to ensure that postings of Officers is fairly effected.  

Earlier social welfare department filed a status report purportedly in compliance of the court’s order dated 15 February. “Unfortunately, this verbose report makes several references to the respondents’ inability to take steps on account of the Model Code of Conduct which is in vogue. Furthermore, the format of the report renders it impossible to understand as to whether the respondents have taken requisites steps,’ the court said. 

In view thereof, the court directed the respondents to place the compliance of the Court orders as well as the requirements of law in a tabulation setting out the staff position, institution-wise. 

“In case the recruitment processes are underway, the respondents shall, in the tabulation, set out the dates and steps taken for the same as well as the dates on which the recruitment would be completed.” “The respondents shall also in a tabulation give the details of the Village Level and District Level Protection Committees in the State. It shall also inform about the operationalization of Video Conferencing facilities between the Observation Homes as well as the Juvenile Justice Boards,” the court said, adding, “The respondents shall also inform this Court about the setting up of the Women and Child Rights Commissions.”

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