Allahabad, Oct 14 (PTI) The Allahabad High Court has directed the Uttar Pradesh government to expeditiously set up Juvenile Justice Boards in each district of the state to adjudicate cases of underage offenders.
A bench of justices Shashi Kant Gupta and Pankaj Bhatia issued the direction saying the absence of Juvenile Justice Boards is a violation of Fundamental Rights of children under Article 15(3) of the Constitution which asks states to make special provision for women and children.
In its order passed on Monday, the bench also asked the government to expeditiously fill the Boards’ vacancies, if any, in any district.
The bench also asked the government to initiate steps at least six months in advance in anticipation of future vacancies in Boards.
The court issued the directions while disposing of a petition by an Uttar Pradesh native, Ishwari Prasad Tiwari.
The bench said the absence of Juvenile Justice Board, besides being a violation of Article 15 (3) is also the breach of “the solemn promise made in the form of ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Children treaty wherein it was agreed by the member nations to undertake all appropriate measures including measures in respect of children, who are accused of violating any penal law'.
“We hope and trust that the state government shall take necessary steps for fulfilling the laudable objects of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015,' said the bench.
I also asked the state government to apprise a Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court, which is also seized with the similar matter, on the next date of its hearing there.
In the present case, the petitioner has alleged that despite repeated the directions of the court and the government’s undertaking to it, the Juvenile Justice Board has not been constituted in various districts.
Section 4 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act provides for the constitution of Juvenile Justice Board in every district.
The Board is to comprise of a metropolitan magistrate or a first-class judicial magistrate and two social workers with at least one of them being a woman. PTI CORR RAJ RAX RAX