Justice to juveniles

Published at January 11, 2019 12:31 AM 0Comment(s)3219views

Justice to juveniles


A number of cases related to juvenile injustice have come to light in the last several years with the state police accused as violating the Juvenile Justice Act with impunity. Legal experts say that the Act continues to be paper tiger as no strict directions are passed in the ranks of police to abide by the law, provisions of the JJA. Juveniles who according to the Act must be send to observation homes in case they are not granted bail or set free are said to end up in lockups and jails. In India there are over 10,000 children who are said to be in conflict with the law and living in observation homes. Lack of infrastructure in the state may also be one reason that juveniles instead of curative homes end up in prisons. In the first week of January the government held a meeting with regard to the effective implementation of Juvenile Justice Act (Care and Protection of Children). In the meeting chaired by Advisor to Governor Khurshid Ahmed Ganai, it was decided that two building in Jammu and Srinagar districts will be hired to function as makeshift shelter homes till the construction of government’s own buildings. Without the needed infrastructure, it is pointless to talk about implementation of the Act, except in all those cases where the juveniles should not be detained. With the state government failing to provide amenities to the prisoners as per the jail manuals, it is farfetched to think of just behavior towards minors. A stark reality was exposed by NCRB (National Crime Records Bureau) about the condition of children in the Jammu and Kashmir state. The report served as a grim reminder that the government is faced with an uphill task to set up a credible justice system. The children have faced the brunt of turmoil in Kashmir, many have been orphaned and thousands have been injured. There is no policy in place to deal with the trauma that has been unleashed here due to the daily incidents of violence. An inclusive policy intervention would have been a must, as is the need to set up curative homes where the children could be reformed to lead better lives. The pendency of cases due to lack of proper administrative set-up and absence of juvenile justice boards at district level have also foiled the attempts to treat the children in the just manner. The onus of ensuring that laws are not violated lies on the state government and the police only.



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