Mumbai

HC directs DM to submit quarterly review of CWCs

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Focus on state of juvenile homes in city

The Bombay High Court recently directed the District Magistrate to conduct a quarterly review of the functioning of the Child Welfare Committees (CWCs). Under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, it is the duty of the District Magistrate to submit the report.

The court said the report should be submitted to the chairperson of the District Level Legal Services Committee, who will in turn submit it to the Registrar General of the court.

A Division Bench of Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice N.M. Jamdar was hearing a bunch of public interest litigations concerning juvenile homes in the city and the quality of toilets, food and other essentials.

The court noted that the existing buildings to house juveniles were dilapidated and they had to be demolished and reconstructed. It required moving juveniles to another home, the court said. The male juveniles were then shifted to David Sassoon Industrial School in Mahim and the female inmates were shifted to Asha Sadan in Umerkhadi. Later, various orders were passed to make funds available to the Public Works Department to construct the new building within a year as per the order on March 17, 2015.

The court said, “Over five years have lapsed and the various orders show that the court has virtually taken over the role of a supervisor to ensure that the new building is constructed and the juveniles brought back to the new building.”

‘Inspect institutions’

The court recorded, “In Maharashtra, the CWC has been constituted as per the mandate of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, and has the power to issue directions to ensure proper care, protection, rehabilitation or restoration of the children in need of care.”

The court said it is the duty of the committee to conduct at least two inspections per month of residential facilities of children in need of care and protection. The committees have the power to issue directions for improvement in quality of service to the District Child Protection Unit and the State government.

The court said the State or District Inspection Committees have to inspect institutions housing children even if they are not registered under the Act and the reports have to be submitted to the District Child Protection Unit or the State.

By disposing of the PILs, the court directed the District Magistrate to conduct a quarterly review of the functioning of the CWCs. “The District Magistrate shall ensure that the committees function as per law, and discharge their duties,” the court said.

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Printable version | Dec 16, 2019 7:32:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/hc-directs-dm-to-submit-quarterly-review-of-cwcs/article28752650.ece

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