Karnataka

Were children interrogated by police in uniform, asks HC

Plea alleges violation of Juvenile Justice Act, Cr.PC in Bidar sedition case probe

The High Court of Karnataka on Friday directed the government advocate to seek instructions on whether school-going children were interrogated by the police in uniform in connection with a sedition case registered against Shaheen Education Society in Bidar and others for allegedly enacting a play, using schoolchildren, to incite people to oppose the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and to give negative opinion on laws enacted by Parliament.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Hemant Chandangoudar issued the direction during the hearing of a PIL petition, filed by city-based advocate Nayana Jyothi Jhawar and the South India Cell For Human Rights Education and Monitoring, an NGO.

During the hearing, the counsel for the petitioners contended that 85 children, aged 9 to 12, of the school were interrogated by policemen in uniform while seeking action against police personnel for illegal examination and questioning of minor students of the school. At this juncture, the Bench orally asked the counsel whether law says that the children cannot be interrogated.

The petitioners have alleged that actions by the police in questioning the children for more than two hours in the absence of their teachers and parents and video recording the process without their consent amounts to gross violation of the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act and the Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.PC).

The petitioners have also sought a direction from the court to give compensation to the parents and guardians for illegally examining the children and thereby causing mental trauma to the parents, and to direct the police to follow the law regarding safeguards to minors in respect of witness examination and issue necessary guidelines in this regard.

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 10:57:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/were-children-interrogated-by-police-in-uniform-asks-hc/article30824542.ece

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