Srinagar: The J&K High Court has directed the state government to urgently fill the 128 posts advertised in May 2018 which are required for the functioning of child care institutions under the Jammu & Kashmir Juveniles Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Act, 2013. The court directed authorities to complete recruitment process within three months.
“In order to enable effective working, first and foremost it is essential to have complete crop of staff in the institutions under the J&K Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Act,” the court said.
In pursuant to the earlier directions of the court, Farooq Ahmad Lone, Secretary, Social Welfare Department, and GA Sofi, State Mission Director, were present before the court. The officers informed the court that an advertisement for recruitment against 128 posts in various categories was issued. However, certain objections were received from Justice Hasnain Masoodi, Chairperson of the Selection Cum Oversight Committee, with regard to the criteria prescribed by the authorities. On account of these objections, the previous notification was cancelled for working out fresh eligibility criteria.
A division bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Alok Aradhe after hearing the officers said, “We have noted in our previous orders about the critical requirement of filling up the posts. We make it clear that there should be no further delay. The recruitment process should in any case be completed within a period of three months from today. The status report in this regard shall be placed before us,” read the court direction.
Meanwhile, an interim report has been received from Justice Hasnain Masoodi (Retd), under cover of letter dated 16th October 2018, which was taken on record by the court. The report has brought to the fore the need for setting up Cradle Reception Centres at Srinagar, Leh, Anantnag, Baramulla, Jammu, Kathua, Udhampur and Rajouri to temporarily house the neonates. The report stated that neonates are being at present housed in hospitals, exposing them to risk of serious infections.
Justice Hasnain also pointed out in the report that there is imperative need of regulation and certification of Child Care Centres as well as regular inspections of Government and NGO-run institutions.
The court after going through the report directed the state machinery to act on this report and file status before court on next date of hearing.
It was also informed by the state counsel that pursuant to the directions made by the court, Special Juvenile Police Units have been created in all the districts of the state and Juvenile Police Officers and Child Welfare Officers have been nominated for each unit.
The court directed that orders issued by the authorities in this regard be placed on record on next date of hearing.