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PIL filed for proper implementation of Juvenile Justice Act in J&K

Army officers detaining a young Kashmiri boy
Image used for representative purposes
Date : 11/08/2017

Tanvi Ahuja verus state of J&K and others, PIL 09/15, J&K High Court

The instant PIL has been filed by a Delhi based activist namely Ms. Tanvi Ahuja who has been proactively working on the different issues including the rights of juveniles. The petitioner through the PIL seeks the proper implementation of Juvenile Justice (care and protection of Children) Act, 2013 and Juvenile justice (care and protection of children) Rules, 2014.
Pertinently, J&K is the only state where there are no Juvenile Justice Boards (JJB) and no child welfare committees (CWC). All the offences related to children in conflict with law or juvenile delinquents are tried by chief Judicial Magistrates. Thousands of the juveniles have been arrested on different offences and consequently lodged in different jails, therefore which clearly violates JJ Act and Rules. Young boys are beaten and tortured in the Jails for the different offences and showing the dissent against the state.
The instant PIL has been filed after the fact finding being done by the team of activists and lawyers from HRLN. The PIL has been moved together with the reports of Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (HRW) which clearly shows that the state of J&K is totally a lawless state. Testimony and personal interview of thousands of the juveniles have been recorded in these reports, besides the torture being done by the police and other security agencies.
The petitioner seeks the implementation of JJ Act and Rules thereof in letter and spirit. The petitioner also prays that the Juvenile Justice Boards and Child Welfare Committees should be constituted throughout the state of J&K. All those juveniles who have been detained/lodged in police lockups or jails should be immediately released and they should be given the rehabilitation package. All those juveniles who have till date been detained/lodged should be interviewed by a commission constituted by the court and headed by the retired High court Judge. Petitioner also seeks direction against the state to lodge all the juveniles in the JJ Homes only as enunciated by JJ Act.

The respondents were directed to constitute the JJB and CWC’S but the state came up with a plea that they did not have the enough money so that the JJ system can be strengthen in the state. By the slew of directions, the central government has released nearly Rs 28 crores under ICPS (Integrated child protection scheme) and state has provided a share of Rs 3 crores, and therefore a sum of Rs 31 crores are in the kitty of administration for strengthening the Juvenile Justice Act and Rules.
Very recently, nearly 120 different posts were advertised in the state under ICPS and selection committee which will appoint the magistrates and members for JJB has been constituted and it is being headed by a retired High Court Judge.
The observation home has been equipped with all the facilities by the directions of court.
The constitution of JJB is in final stage and state of J&k will see the JJB and CWC soon.

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