Delhi HC raps State government over petty cases against juveniles

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday came down heavily on the Delhi government for failing to comply with its order on terminating all cases against juveniles, where inquiries are pending in alleged petty offences, before the Juvenile Justice Boards (JJB) and have remained inconclusive for over a year.

A Bench of Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani also said that the Delhi government has not complied with its direction to apprise it of the number of cases where inquiries are pending in each JJB here for six months to one year.

Over 400 minors

The Delhi government showed a chart where there was a difference of 409 minors in the number of juveniles produced before the JJB and released thereafter.

To this, the High Court said, “Where are these 409 juveniles? They have fallen through the cracks. These 409 [minors] will be lost in the system. We shudder to think what awaits us. What is happening? What happened to these 409 and where are they?”

The court reminded the government of its September 29 judgment, which said the child must be produced before the JJB within 24 hours of becoming a subject of processes under the JJ Act.

When the court asked when will all the juveniles, allegedly involved in petty offences and against whom inquires are pending, be produced before the JJB, the government counsel said it will be done in 10 days.

“You should have done it by now. We are surprised at what JJBs are doing. Are they not aware of our order? They must comply with our order. By now, the JJB should have directed the police to produce all juveniles before the board,” the court said, adding, “We cannot turn a blind eye to it”.

The court had termed the high pendency of cases as “completely unacceptable”, and directed immediate release of any such detained children whose case inquiry remains inconclusive for longer than one year.

The High Court’s direction came after taking in account submission by the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights that around 1,903 inquiries against juveniles relating to petty offences are pending before the JJBs in the Capital as on June 30, 2021.

Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Nov 28, 2021 2:41:18 PM |

Next Story