Srinagar: The J&K High court on Tuesday directed state authorities to provide information about functioning of Juvenile Justice Boards (JJBs) within two days.
The direction came after the counsel representing Social Welfare department submitted before court that an SRO has been issued for constitution of JJBs and but the members and magistrates for these JJBs are yet to be appointed.
The court was taken by surprise after hearing that magistrates are yet to be appointed.
The court told the state counsel Asif Bhat that selection cum over sight committee has already recommended the members and magistrates which stand appointed.
Hearing a public interest litigation on juvenile justice, the division bench headed by Justice Mohammad Yaqoob Mir and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey told to state counsel that he was appearing before the division bench without preparation of the case.
The court directed the counsel to seek information from commissioner secretary to which the counsel submitted that he has retired. A surprised court observed that the department was running without its head.
The court said that constituted JJBs should be made functional without further delay. “We just want work done on ground, and in two days required information should be provided to court regarding the functioning of constituted JJBs,” the court said.
On previous hearing the court had pressed that juveniles can’t be put in jails. They have to be rehabilitated and sent back to live normal life. They have to be provided friendly environment for their mental and physical growth.
A PIL has been filed by a Haryana-based social worker Tanvi Ahuja who has expired. She had stated that thousands of juveniles have been arrested over the years under J&K Public Safety Act (PSA) and sections of Ranbir Penal Code; instead of being tried under the Juvenile Justice Act, they have been kept in jails.