Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir High court on Tuesday came down heavily on state government for not implementing the Juvenile justice Act in letter and spirit. The court directed the government to come up with an updated status report within two weeks.
The court observed that the affidavit filed by state was inadequate and doesn’t address the issues of juvenile justice act. He court found the affidavit “totally unsatisfactory”.
The Division Bench headed by Chief Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed and Justice Ali Mohamamd Magrey observed that the affidavit from Commissioner Secretary, Social Welfare Department (SWD), was totally unsatisfactory.
The court said, “The proposed affidavit filed by Commissioner Secretary which has been shown is once again inadequate and doesn’t address issues of Juveniles under Juvenile Justice Act 2013. The affidavit identified the deficiencies but deficiencies haven’t been removed yet.”
The court also remarked that Commissioner Secretary, SWD has poor understandings of the act. State Counsel, Advocate Hashim Hussain, said that due to unavailability of funds, deficiencies in orphanages are yet to be sorted out.
Calling it a statutory duty, Justice Ahmad said, “Once the act is in place and rules have been made, the government cannot say that they have unavailability of funds.”
Regarding staff strength in children homes, the affidavit gave the existing strength but didn’t mention the deficient staff like doctors, counsellors and consultants.
The court ordered for the proper affidavit indicating all deficiencies and plan of action with specified timeline in conformity with law to be filed within two weeks.
The Public Interest Litigation was based on a news report in 2013. The news report reflected the poor condition of children in orphanages.