TODAY -
Court serves notice on govt over failed Juvenile law
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Kohima, March 06 2009: A division bench of the Guwahati High Court, comprising Justice Maibam Binoykumar and Justice AC Upadhyay today issued a notice of motion returnable within four weeks to the Government of Manipur following a Public Interest Litigation(PIL) seeking appropriate directive for effective implementation of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000. The notice of motion was issued following a PIL filed by Wahengbam Joykumar, a social activist at the initiative of Human Rights Law Network (Manipur).

According to the PIL, the petitioner contended that the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 was enacted by the Indian Parliament on December 30, 2000 by replacing the pre-existing Juvenile Justice Act, 1986. The law is further amended in 2006 which makes it more children friendly and provides proper care and protection of children.

Under the new enactment, the respondents � the secretary (Law and Legislative Affairs), Government of Manipur, the Director, Social Welfare Department, and he DGP of Manipur � require to establish various statutory bodies and institutions for effective implementation of the Act so as to enforce the Act effectively.

However, even after a lapse of more than eight years from the date of enforcement of the Act, no tangible action has been taken by the respondents for the effective implementation of the Act by making available service of Principal Magistrates of Juvenile Justice Boards, etc, the complainant said.

The petitioner also contended that no response has come forward from the respondents even after a lapse of eight months after submitting a representation to the respondents for providing the required numbers of Principal Magistrates of the Juvenile Justice Boards, highlighting the shortcomings in the implementation of the Act, and urging for the constitution of Juvenile police unit and to appoint Juvenile officer.

It also mentioned that there has been no Principal Magistrate in all Juvenile Justice Boards constituted for each and every district of Manipur under Section 4 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000.There is also no building and support staff for all Juvenile Justice Boards and Child Welfare Committees constituted for the nine districts of Manipur.

Asserting that there is no inspection committee for Children's Homes and the Government has failed to create Juvenile Justice Fund, the petitioner also said that no district level child protection committee is constituted and there is no special police unit nor designated juvenile or child welfare officer in any police station of Manipur.


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