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Children cannot be deprived of hope and dignity: CJ

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2nd Roundtable on Juvenile Justice System

Justice Lokur hails JK for initiating tangible measures on Juvenile Justice

 SRINAGAR, AUGUST 25: Justice Madan B Lokur, Judge Supreme Court of India today complemented the Juvenile Justice Committee of the J&K High Court and the J&K Government for the substantive measures taken for reintegration and rehabilitation of juveniles in the State.

“When we are talking about implementation of J&K Juvenile Justice Act, the judiciary in J&K has been able to get various stakeholders whether police, NGOs, government etc on board for the effective implementation of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2013. But at the same time winning the public trust is also must for proper implementation of the Act,” Justice Lokur, who is also the Chairman, of the Supreme Court Committee on Juvenile Justice said while speaking at 2nd Roundtable Conference jointly organized by the Juvenile Justice Committee of Supreme Court of India, Juvenile Justice Committee of J&K High Court, J&K Government and UNICEF.

Justice Deepak Gupta, Judge Supreme Court of India and Member Supreme Court Committee on Juvenile Justice, Chief Justice, J&K High Court, Justice Gita Mittal, Adviser to Governor, Khurshid Ahmed Ganai, Chief Secretary, BVR Subrahmanyam, Judges of J&K High Court, Justice Alok Aradhe, Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey, Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur, Justice Tashi Rabastan, Justice Janak Raj Kotwal, Justice M K Hanjura, Justice Sindhu Sharma, Justice Rashid Ali Dar,  DGP, Dr S P Vaid,  Justice (Retd) Hasnain Masoodi, (Chairman, Selection-cum-Oversight Committee JJ Act), Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar, former judge, Advocate General, DC Raina,   Joint Secretary, Union Ministry of Women and Child Development, Aastha Saxena,  Special DGP, V.K. Singh, Chief Child Protection, UNICEF, Aguilar Javier,  Secretary Law, Abdul Majid Bhat, Secretary Social Welfare, Dr Farooq Lone, Registrar General J&K High Court, Sanjay Dhar, Director State Judicial Academy, Abdul Rashid Malik, Director ICPS and large number of judicial officers of subordinate courts, Members of NGOs, social organizations and several other stakeholders  participated in the conference.

The main objective of the conference was to deliberate on how to further strengthen the existing legal framework of Juvenile Justice for the delinquents in Jammu and Kashmir and to review the progress achieved on the implementation of decisions taken in the 1st Roundtable Conference on Juveniles held in Srinagar last year.

Making references to success stories on effective rehabilitation of Juvenile Justice System in J&K, Justice Lokur stressed upon the members of the society to focus on protection of children from being harmed through children and unscrupulous elements. “The solution of not being a juvenile is that we should protect them from committing any offence, that is where we can stop them from being in conflict with the law,” he added.

He said the approach of the executive officials and the judicial system should be aimed at addressing the vulnerabilities of the children and ensuring their rehabilitation, adding that the idea behind rehabilitation is that people are not born criminals, thus should be given a chance to be restored and reintegrated with society.

He maintained that the issues which we understand, we have to now concentrate on their solutions. “Why we are concentrating on solutions because we are looking for the future and that can happen only by shaping the present,” he added.

Justice Deepak Gupta, Judge Supreme Court of India, Member Supreme Court Committee on Juvenile Justice in his address stressed the need for larger participation of community, Members of NGOs, social organizations for the safety of the juveniles. He emphasized for a cautious approach by the agencies while dealing with the juveniles and every effort must be made to mould the mindset of the children to bring them on the right path. He also stressed for a close vigil by the society to prevent the children from various abuses and securing the future of the children. He expressed happiness on the steps taken by the J&K State for the promotion of juvenile laws.

The participants deliberated on the subject in detail and laid stress on tangible steps to further improving the juvenile system, children in conflict with law and the children in need of care and protection. The called for effective mechanism to deal with the cases of juvenile with all sympathy and care so that they can be brought to the right path to lead the dignified life.

First session of the conference was presided over by the Justice Madan B Lokur, Judge Supreme Court of India and Chairman, Supreme Court Committee on Juvenile Justice and he also delivered the inaugural address. Justice Deepak Gupta, Judge Supreme Court and Member Supreme Court Committee on Juvenile Justice delivered the valedictory address.

Chief Justice of J&K High Court, Justice Gita Mittal in her address said that the J&K Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of the Children) Act, 2013 and Rules 2014 provide a robust mechanism for implementing the provisions of the Act. She also said that with the orientation and training of judicial officers and professional social workers equipped with required resources, this will help us to achieve success in our mission of securing rehabilitation of children in conflict with law.

Stating that Children and young adults have been recognized as a major human resource of development are the key agents for collective social change. “Children cannot be deprived of hope and dignity. Conscious and continues efforts must be made by all stakeholders to ensure wholesome development of these children,” she added.

She said that that judiciary has to play a vital role in sensitizing all the stakeholders by bringing them together and in identifying workable solutions in order to trigger changes at the ground level.

In his welcome address, Chairman J&K High Court Juvenile Justice Committee, Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey stressed for the community participation for the rehabilitation of juveniles. He emphasized on the need to protect children as they are the greatest resource of the nation. He said main aim of the Conference was to come out with solutions to effectively implement the JJA in Jammu and Kashmir.

He informed that after hosting the first Roundtable Conference on the implementation of Juvenile Justice System in the State last year, the State of Jammu and Kashmir constituted the Juvenile Justice Boards and Child Welfare Committees in all the 22 districts of the State. Eight posts of Principal Magistrates have been created and the process of creating remaining 14 Principal Magistrates is at the final stage. The Juvenile Justice Committee, High Court of J&K is monitoring the progress of implementation keeping in view the deliberations held from time to time and the guidance given by the Supreme Court Committee on Juvenile Justice.

He further informed that the Committee is constantly keeping high vigil on the implementation of the Act and the Rules for which regular meetings of all the stakeholders from time to time are being held to review the progress. Frequent inspections of the Observation Homes and Children’s Homes at Jammu and Srinagar give us an insight on the conditions prevailing in these Homes like food, clothing, recreation, educating, health and psychology of these children. He hoped that the deliberations of the second roundtable conference will further guide the Committee in the processes of strengthening Juvenile Justice System in Jammu and Kashmir, said Justice Magrey.

Chief Secretary, BVR Subrahmanyam in his power point presentation highlighted the steps taken by the State Government for the promotion of Juvenile Justice System in Jammu and Kashmir. He further said that in all districts of the State Juvenile Justice Boards have been set up along with necessary manpower and infrastructure which will further facilitate the requirements of juveniles. He said the State Government is committed to implement the JJ Act for the welfare of the juveniles. He also highlighted the social welfare schemes being implemented in the State.

He also highlighted the welfare schemes launched by the State Government for the welfare of the Juveniles and destitute. He assured to take more appropriate steps as per the requirements of the JJA to improve system on ground.

Ms. Astha Saxsena also shared her views on the issues related to the juvenile justice and stated that such conferences provide opportunities to the stakeholders to deliberate on the developments in this sensitive area. She said and added that 40 percent of our population is children who are actually our future, so to make our future better, all stakeholders in our society have to think about this population to secure our future,” she added.

She said that awareness about child rights literacy among various sections of the society should be promoted. She also suggested for child helpline in the State of Jammu and Kashmir on the analogy of rest of the country.

Mr. Javier Aguillar said that UNICEF is committed to work  for the rights of the children especially their protection from various forms of abuse, exploitation, any form of violence. He urged for the need to look beyond the traditional training and for having regular Conferences on the children’s rights.

DGP, Dr. S.P Vaid summarized the steps taken by the Jammu and Kashmir Police in the implementation of the J&K JJA, 2013. He said  22 Special Juvenile Police Units (SJPUs) have been established in each district, Reserve Inspectors (RIs) at each District Police Line designated as Incharge SJPUs, officer nominated as Juvenile Police Officer in each Police Station of J&K. adding that police officers who deal with juveniles are being trained to have soft skills while dealing with them.

Justice Dheeraj Singh Thakur, Member Juvenile Justice Committee, J&K High Court, Justice Sindhu Sharma, Justice Hasnain Masoodi, Abdul Majid Bhat, Secretary Law and others also spoke and shared their views on the subject.

Abdul Rashid Malik, Director State Judicial Academy (Member Secretary, Juvenile Justice Committee, J&K High Court) conducted the proceedings of the conference. He welcomed the participants and expressed his gratitude for gracing the occasion. He also listed the achievements and steps initiated by the Committee for strengthening the juvenile justice system and implementation of JJ Act, 2013 in the State.

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