|Early Times Report|
SRINAGAR, Oct 20: The J&K High Court has directed the state government to "apply mind and evolve appropriate criterion" on the suggestions by Chairperson-cum-Oversight Committee, Justice (retd) Hasnain Masoodi regarding Juvenile Justice Act (JJA).
In the interim report, the chairperson has brought to fore, among others, the need for setting up Cradle Reception Centres at Srinagar, Leh, Anantnag, Baramulla, Jammu, Kathua, Udhampur and Rajouri to temporarily house the neonates.
"These neonates are being at present housed in hospitals exposing them to the tremendous risk of serious infections," the report said.
Several other difficulties in the working of the Juvenile Justice Act have been pointed out including need for regulation and certification of Child Care Centres as well as regular inspections of government and NGO-run institutions.
Hearing a Public Interest Litigation, a division bench of the court headed by Chief Justice Gita Mittal was informed that an advertisement for recruitment against 128 posts in various categories, as required for the child care institutions under the Jammu & Kashmir Juveniles Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Act, 2013, was issued in May. However, certain objections were received by Chairperson Cum Oversight Committee with regard to the criterion prescribed by the authorities.
On account of these objections, the previous notification was cancelled for working out a fresh eligibility criterion.
"We have noted in our previous orders about the critical requirement of filling up the posts. We make it clear that there should be no further delay. In so far as the observations of the Chairperson Cum Oversight Committee conveyed vide communication dated 2nd August, 2018 are concerned, the same are in the nature of suggestions and it is for the respondents to apply their mind to the same and evolve appropriate criterion," the court said, adding, "Needless to say that there is no impediment to the authorities in consulting with the Chairperson who would bring the wealth of his experience and knowledge to the deliberations."