Tamil Nadu

‘Govt yet to approve new members selected for CWCs, JJBs last year’

Commissioner of Social Defence Department tells HC that list of names was sent to it in July last


Commissioner of Social Defence Department V. Amuthavalli informed the Madras High Court Bench here on Thursday that the State Government had not approved appointment of new members to Juvenile Justice Boards (JJBs) and Child Welfare Committees (CWCs) in all 32 districts despite a list of selected candidates having been submitted to it in July last.

The submission was made in a counter-affidavit filed before a Division Bench of Justices A. Selvam and N. Authinathan who were seized of a public interest litigation petition filed by Madurai-based activist C. Ananda Raj. The petitioner had sought a direction to appoint new members since the tenure of the members had ended on May 2, 2015.

Stating that the tenure of the members was being extended periodically due to the delay in appointing new members, the Commissioner said the process of selection of new members was initiated by Social Defence department on February 2, 2015 in accordance with the provisions of Tamil Nadu Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Rules, 2001.

Applications received from eligible candidates were forwarded to district-level selection committees comprising the Principal District Judges, Collectors and Commissioners or Superintendents of Police, and the process was finalised in July last.

Though the PIL petitioner had contended that the selection ought to be made as per the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Model Rules, 2016, the Commissioner said there was no need to follow the 2016 rules since the process of selecting new members was initiated in February 2015.

In so far as the plea for establishing rehabilitation centres for the mentally challenged juveniles and those addicted to drugs or alcohol was concerned, the Commissioner said her department had sent a proposal to the government on December 21, 2016, for establishing de-addiction centres in eight Observation Homes in the State at a total cost of ₹2.43 crore.

However, the government, through its letter on March 28 this year, conveyed its decision to establish only one de-addiction centre on a pilot basis in the Observation Home at Chengalpet and requested to prepare a revised estimate. Accordingly, a revised proposal for ₹29.96 lakh was submitted on April 13 and it was under consideration, she added.

After taking the counter-affidavit on file, the judges adjourned the case for further hearing till July 18.

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 1:11:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/govt-yet-to-approve-new-members-selected-for-cwcs-jjbs-last-year-high-court-madurai/article19180651.ece

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