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HC directs Director, Mission Vatsalya, SWD to produce before it final selection for posts of member JJBs, chairpersons and members of CWCs 

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Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has directed the Union Territory’s Director, Mission Vatsalya, Social Welfare Department, to produce before it the final selection for the posts of member of Juvenile Justice Boards (JJBs), chairpersons, and members of Child Welfare Committees (CWCs).

An application had been filed by the Director, Mission Vatsalya, for permitting it to finalize the selection list (appointment) of candidates for the posts of members of JJBs, chairpersons, and members of CWCs.

A two-judge bench of the court directed the Director, Mission Vatsalya, “to produce the result in a sealed cover before this court on the next date of hearing.”

Notice regarding the matter was waived by the counsel appearing for the petitioner-non-applicant, the government. He sought time to file a response and was asked by the court to do so within a period of one week. The matter has been listed on March 09, 2023.

The coordinate benches of the court had put on hold the process of selection for the fresh appointment of members of JJBs and CWCs in two writ proceedings filed by the present members of JJBs and CWCs from the various districts of Kashmir and Jammu divisions.

The sitting members of the CWCs and JJBs had challenged the fresh advertisement notices issued on 01.08.2022 where under the authorities had advertised posts of members of JJBs, chairperson and members of CWCs, and social workers in each district of Jammu and Kashmir.

The High Court had previously directed the recruitment authority to accept the application forms of the present members of CWCs and JJBs and allow them to sit and compete in the fresh process of selection for the posts.

The court on receipt of the applications directed the Mission Director to allow the applicants to complete the process of selection, if otherwise eligible.

The Division Bench on an earlier hearing of the PIL clarified that the pendency of any writ petitions or orders passed therein by the coordinate benches stalling the process of selection shall not come in the way of selecting authority for initiating the selection process.

The DB, however, has made it clear that before finalizing the process of selection, the concerned selecting authority should move an appropriate motion before the court so as to enable it to decide those writ petitions along with the PILs for suitable orders.

These sitting members of JJBs and CWCs in their pleas contended that they became eligible and entitled to reappointment up to three consecutive terms based on the performance appraisal to be made by the selection cum oversight committee under and in terms of Rule 4 of Rules 2014 and further became eligible to seek reappointment and continue, in all, for a period of nine years, subject to the aforesaid assessment/appraisal.

Dealing with a connected PIL with regard to the scheme of law for child abuse, the DB issued notice to the Director, concerned who shall respond with regard to the recommendations suggested by the applicant.

The applicant placed on record the recommendations regarding the protection of children from abuse and exploitation in the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir.

The applicant has suggested five recommendations for the protection of children from abuse and exploitation.

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