New Delhi [India], October 12 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Tuesday came down heavily on the state government over not taking any steps relating to termination of inquiries, alleging petty offences against juveniles, which are pending and remains inconclusive for longer than one year, before the Juvenile Justice Boards (JJB).
A Division Bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Anup Jairam Bhambhani remarked that juveniles can't wait and the Delhi government may take as much time as it wants but cannot put children on hold.
The sharp remark came when Delhi Government sought ten days time to produce juveniles before Boards as some amendments in rules are in process.
Delhi government response came on query put up by High Court. The High Court has sought to know till when will the minors involved in alleged petty offences be presented before the JJB.
The Court also remarked why the JJB is finding it difficult to comply with our order and said "We cannot turn a blind eye to it."
The Court noted the conduct of the government was unsatisfactory.
However, it granted a week's time to the government to file an affidavit mentioning the steps taken by it for compliance with the Court's earlier order.
The Delhi High court has earlier ordered the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) to terminate all inquiries, alleging petty offences against juveniles, which are pending and remains inconclusive for longer than one year, with immediate effect.
While pronouncing the verdict, it said, "In all cases alleging petty offences against children/juveniles, where the inquiry has been pending and remains inconclusive for longer than one year, regardless of whether the subject child/juvenile has been produced before the JJB, all such inquiries shall stand terminated with immediate effect."
The Court had also made it clear that any children/juveniles detained in relation to such inquiries, shall be released immediately without waiting for recording the formal order.
In the course of proceedings in these matters, Senior advocates HS Phoolka, Amicus Curiae, and Prabhsahay Kaur, counsel appearing on behalf of Bachpan Bachao Andolan' and advocate RHA Sikander, counsel appearing for the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights ('DCPCR') had brought to the notice of the court several other issues which pertain to interpretation and effective implementation of some provisions of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2015, ('JJ Act').
Overlong pendency of a sizeable number of cases relating to 'petty offences' committed by juvenile delinquents, which are in fact required to 'stand terminated' as per section 14 of the JJ Act was one among others issues raised in the matter.
DCPCR has brought to the attention of the court that as of June 30 2021 some 795 cases pertaining to petty offences committed by juveniles are pending before the six Juvenile Justice Board in Delhi for a period between six months and one year, and some 1108 such cases are pending for more than a year.
According to the DCPCR, some 1903 petty cases are pending which as per section 14 of the JJ Act should stand terminated. (ANI)