The State government has issued orders for constituting District Child Protection Societies, under the Integrated Child Protection Scheme, in the 32 districts of the State with a post of assistant-cum-data entry operator and data analyst sanctioned among other posts for each facility, the Madras High Court has been informed.
In its counter to a writ petition filed by the Human Rights Advocacy and Research Foundation, Director of Social Defence, AN. Raj Saravanakumar, said that in all the 32 districts, Juvenile Justice Boards (JJBs) and Child Welfare Committees had started functioning.
They had the basic infrastructure and amenities under the guidance and control of District Child Protection Societies.
Members of the JJBs had been given training in the juvenile justice system with special reference to understanding child psychology.
Social activist A. Narayanan of Virugambakkam here, who had also filed a writ petition in the matter relating to juvenile justice, has filed an additional affidavit narrating an incident to bring to the court’s notice how lapses still continued in implementing the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act and the rules.
He said it had been widely reported in the media that a boy aged 14, belonging to the Kuravar community, was detained up by the Thiruthangal police in Virudhunagar district on suspicion in a case of minor theft.
He was beaten for a whole day in a bid to make him admit to his involvement in the crime, and lost vision in the right eye.
Mr. Narayanan said he visited Sivakasi on October 6 to enquire about the incident and the boy’s health condition.
Though he received treatment in a government hospital as directed by the Madurai Bench of the High Court, he could not take his quarterly examination and was unable to attend school till date.
The incident highlighted the need to train and sensitise police personnel in handling children who were either in need of care and protection or in conflict with the law.
Juvenile Police Units
In the main writ petition, Mr. Narayanan had sought a direction to establish Special Juvenile Police Units in all the districts and also the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights immediately and to take strong action on all issues and recommendations related to the JJ Act highlighted in the CAG Audit Report of 2008 and as per Supreme Court directions.