Srinagar: The J&K High Court on Monday directed state authorities to ensure that 14 Juvenile Justice Boards (JJBs) are constituted and Principal Magistrates for the 8 JJBs that are already in existence be notified by the next date of hearing.
The court also directed that constitution of Child Welfare Committees (CWCs) for all 22 districts in J&K be notified under Section 81 of the J&K Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection) Act 2013, so that these CWCs work properly.
The counsel for the petitioner informed the court that existing JJBs and CWCs were facing dearth of staff and were not functioning properly.
The division bench of Acting Chief Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur after hearing the petitioner’s counsel directed the J&K Advocate General to inform the court regarding the issue.
On May 3, the court had directed the J&K Chief Secretary to review and oversee the implementation of the Juvenile Justice Act as also the Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) in tune with the directions passed by the court earlier from time to time. In this regard, the Secretary Social Welfare Department informed the court that 8 posts of Principal Magistrates have been created to carry out the functioning of JJBs.
About the setting up of CWCs, the court was informed that under Rule 80 of the JJ Act, on the recommendations of the Selection Cum Oversight Committee, the Social Welfare Department constituted CWCs in all the 22 districts in the state and these comprised one Chairman and four members.
With regard to requisite infrastructure, personnel and finances for CWCs, the court was informed that the same was being provided as per the norms of the ICPS which is a centrally sponsored scheme on funding pattern of 90:10 between centre and state.