Srinagar: The J&K High Court has sought report from the state government on its earlier directive of amendment in SRO 117 of 2018, regarding juvenile justice boards.
Hearing a PIL on juvenile justice, the division bench of Acting Chief Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice M K Hanjura observed that for functioning of juveniles boards, it was necessary that amendment in the SRO be made and report tabulated before the court.
The court said, “In terms of the SRO 117 2018, the eight Juvenile Justice Boards have to exercise jurisdiction over the entire State to the extent shown in last column of the SRO. The Juvenile Justice Board at Srinagar is to have jurisdiction over Srinagar, Budgam and Ganderbal districts. The jurisdiction of Juvenile Justice Board at Anantnag is to the extent of Anantnag, Kulgam, Shopian and Pulwama districts.”
The SRO 117 of 2018, court had observed, divests the chief judicial magistrates of 14 districts, i.e. other than the districts for which the principal magistrates have been appointed, of the powers and functions of the Juvenile Justice Board, otherwise exercised by them under sub-section (6) of Section 4.
Consequently, juveniles in conflict with law from the other districts are to be brought before the Board in another district, which the court remarked, would be a difficult task for the SJPU and the Juvenile Welfare Officer and grossly inconvenient for the juvenile in conflict with law.
Therefore the court had directed amendment of SRO 117. “We, accordingly, make it clear that, while the Juvenile Justice Boards presided over by the designated Principal Magistrates and comprising of the members already appointed may function at the districts identified in the SRO, i.e. Srinagar, Baramulla, Anantnag, Leh, Kargil, Doda, Jammu and Poonch, with the territorial jurisdiction restricted to their respective districts, the Chief Judicial Magistrates in rest of the districts, i.e. Kupwara, Bandipora, Ganderbal,Budgam, Pulwama, Shopian, Kulgam, Ramban, Kishtwar, Udhampur,Reasi, Rajouri, Kathua and Samba, shall preside over as Principal Magistrates over the Juvenile Justice Boards in these districts till the posts of Principal Magistrates are sanctioned,” the court had directed.