J VENKATESAN IN THE HINDU
“He shall take care of safety, food and basic amenities of the child”
The Supreme Court has directed the Director-Generals of Police of all the States and Union Territories to ensure that at least one police officer in every police station is designated as Juvenile/ Child Welfare officer to deal with the children in conflict with law. In its interim order, a Bench of Justices R.V. Raveendran (since retired) and A.K. Patnaik said: “The Home departments and the DGPs of States/UTs will further ensure that Special Juvenile Police unit, comprising all police officers designated as Juvenile or Child Welfare Officer, is created in every district and city to coordinate and upgrade the police treatment to juveniles and the children as provided in Section 63 (2) of the Juvenile Justice [Care and Protection of Children] Act, 2000.”
According to the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection Children) Rules 2007, as soon as a juvenile is apprehended, the designated juvenile/child welfare officer of the nearest police station shall be asked to take charge of the matter. The officer shall produce the child before the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) within 24 hours.
He shall intimate the parent or guardian, collect his socio-economic background and report the matter to the JJB.
Except in grave offences like rape, murder or one committed jointly with an adult, the case against a juvenile or child shall not be registered as an FIR and no charge sheet shall be filed, except making an entry in the general diary of the police station. The officer shall be responsible for the safety, food and basic amenities of the offender. Since the Act and the Rules framed were not being followed, the Supreme Court had been monitoring the implementation of the Act on the writ petition filed by Sampurna Behura and passed orders to the States/UTs from time to time. The court has already passed several orders for constitution of JJBs under Section 4 of the Act and Child Welfare Committees under Section 29 of the Act and most of the States and UTs have taken steps to constitute them.
Monitoring to continue
The Bench in its recent order made it clear that it would continue to monitor implementation of the provisions of the Act and asked the District Legal Service Authorities to provide the required training to the officers. It directed the matter to be listed in the first week of January, when the State governments and the UTs would file an affidavit outlining steps taken by them pursuant to this order.
- Court orders for Training of all Juvenile Police Officers (equalityindia.wordpress.com)
Compulsory Registration of Marriages The Supreme Court vide its judgment dated 14.02.2006 in Seema Vs. Ashwani Kumar (AIR 2006 S.C 1158) has directed the State Governments and the Central Government that marriages of all persons who are citizens of India belonging to various religious denomination should be made compulsorily registerable in their respective States where such marriages are solemnized.
Giving this information in written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha this week, Shri Salman Khurshid, Minister of Law & Justice, said that it is not correct to say that the process of registration of marriages is cumbersome. The process for compulsory registration of marriage is worked out by respective State Governments and the Union Territory Administrations by making suitable legislation/ rules or by amending existing legislation/ rules on the basis of the situation obtained in their respective territories to make the process simple and easier. Hence, no separate action by the Central Government is considered necessary, Shri Khurshid said.
PRAKASH SINGH & ORS. VS VERSUS U.O.I. & ORS.
Date: 08/11/2010 This Matter was called on for hearing today.
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE AFTAB ALAM
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE K.S. RADHAKRISHNAN
O R D E R
As far back as on 22nd September, 2006, this Court in the case of Prakash Singh & Ors. vs. Union of India in Writ Petition (C) No.310 of 1996, since reported in 2006 (8) S.C.C.1 issued, inter alia,six directives to the State Governments in respect of State Security Commission, selection of minimum tenure of DGP, minimum tenure of IG of Police and other officers, separation of investigation, setting up of Police Establishment Board and setting up of Police Complaint Authority.
By Order dated 16th May, 2008, in I.A. Nos.20-38 with I.A. No.3 in Writ Petition (C) No.310 of 1996, in the matter of implementation of the above directions, Thomas Committee was constituted and it was directed to submit it’s Report within three months. The terms and conditions on which the Report was sought was also stipulated in the said Order, which reads as under:
“1) To examine the affidavits filed by the different States and the Union Territories in compliance to the Court’s direction with reference to ground realities.
2) Advise the respondents wherever the implementation is falling short of the Court’s order, after considering the respondents’ stated difficulties in implementation.
3) Bring to the notice of the Court any genuine problems the respondents may have in view of the specific conditions prevailing in a State or Union Territory.
4) Examine the new legislations enacted by different States regarding the police to see whether these are in compliance with the letter and spirit of the Court’s directions.
5) Apprise the Court about unnecessary objections or delays on the part of any respondent so that appropriate follow-up action could be taken against that respondent.
6) Submit a status report on compliance to this Court every six months.
The Committee shall be provided necessary infrastructure and required financial assistance by the Government of India (the Ministry of Home Affairs/Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD) to enable it to carry on its functions.The Committee may, if necessary, visit a particular State for discussing any matter relating to implementation with the officers of that State. Home Ministry is directed to deposit Rs.10 lakhs with the Secretary General of Supreme Court towards initial expenses of the Committee.
The Committee will function initially for a period of two years only. This Hon’ble Court may, however, extend its life span, if considered necessary.”
The final Report of the Thomas Committee dated 23rd August, 2010, has now been submitted to this Court and the same has been received by almost all States appearing before us, particularly,States of Karnataka, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. We regret to say that, till today,most of the directions given by this Court in it’s Order dated 22nd September, 2006, have remained noncompliant.
To begin with, the Thomas Committee has given a chart, which is quoted at Page 12 of the compilation given by the learned amicus curiae, which indicates non-compliance, partial compliance,marginal compliance and in the end, to say the least, paper compliance. None of the above States have issued appropriate notification/Government Order on the directions given by this Court in it’s Order dated 22nd September, 2006.
In the circumstances, we hereby issue notice, in the first instance, to the following four States:
[iii] Uttar Pradesh; and
[iv] West Bengal.
We hereby direct the Chief Secretary of each of the above four States to remain present in this Court on the next date of hearing, i.e., 6th December, 2010. The said notice will be show-cause notice which the States will have to reply through the Chief Secretary as to why the six directions given in the Order dated 22nd September, 2006, have not been complied.
We may reiterate that each of the States have appeared through their respective advocates before us. They have stated that they are in receipt of the Report of Thomas Committee. The matter shall stand over to 6th December, 2010, at 2.00 p.m.