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HC directs govt to not proceed with selection/appointment of members, chairpersons of JJBs, CWCs

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Seeks its objections to plea filed by incumbent members, chairpersons

Srinagar: The High Court has restrained (till further orders) the government from proceeding with the selection process and appointment of social workers, members of the Juvenile Justice Boards (JJBs), chairpersons and members of Child Welfare Committees (CWCs) in each district of J&K.

The court passed the order on a plea whereby petitioners had challenged the advertisement notices issued on 1st of August 2022. They pleaded that they are already manning the posts and have a considerable period of time left on their tenure as chairpersons, members of CWCs and members of JJBs.

“In the meanwhile, subject to objections and till next date of hearing, respondents shall refrain from proceeding ahead with the process of selection pursuant to the advertisement notices 01 SC(MV) of 2022 dated 01.08.2022 and 02 SC(MV) of 2022 dated 01.08.2022,” directed Justice Javed Iqbal Wani.

The court also issued notice to the government, seeking its objections to the plea by or before the next date of hearing on October 18, 2022.

The petitioners contend that in terms of the J&K Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2013 and the rules framed there-under, the term of the office of member of the Committee and the Board is three years and are to be reappointed upto three consecutive terms based on performance appraisal.

They said the initial term of three years of the current members of the JJBs expired on January 12, 2021, and that of the CWCs on February 06, 2021. However, they said, in terms of the Government order (No: 13-Sw-2021, dated 27.01.2021,) the term of the existing members of the JJBs and CWCs has been allowed to continue for a further period of one year.

“It is pertinent to mention that in terms of the J&K Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2013 and the rules made by the erstwhile legislature and Government of J&K, the petitioners were eligible for reappointment up-to three consecutive terms, based on performance appraisal to be made by selection-cum-oversight committee,” they said, adding, “In this manner current members of JJBs and CWCs have the right to continue in all for a period of nine years on the recommendations of selection-cum-oversight committee.”

They also submitted that as per the J&K Reorganization (Removal of Difficulties) Order, 2019, any rights, privileges, obligations accrued under any law that has been repealed, shall remain unaffected in terms of the order.

“In this regard the entitlement of nine years of tenure provided under J&K Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Rules, 2014 (repealed) is protected by under the law and petitioners have a right to claim continuance on the appointed posts,” they argued.

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