JAMMU, Dec 10: Jammu & Kashmir State Judicial Academy in collaboration with UNICEF India country office, organized two day workshop for Principal Magistrates of Juvenile Justice Boards under J&K Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2013 and Designated Nodal Officers for implementation of the Juvenile Justice Act and Rules.
The workshop was organized under the guidance and patronage of Chief Patron of the J&K State Judicial Academy, Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar, Chief Justice, High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and Committee on Juvenile Justice comprising Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar, Chairperson, Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey, Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur, Members of the Committee.
The workshop was inaugurated by the Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar in the presence of Justice Alok Aradhe, Justice Ali Mohammad Magray, and Jehangir Iqbal Ganie, Advocate General.
Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar, in his inaugural address, emphasized the need for setting up of Juvenile Justice Boards and Child Welfare Committees to deal with the children. He highlighted that corruption affects all sections of society but women and children are the worst victims. “Our natural resources belong to the children and it is our duty to protect them so that our children do not commit crimes out of poverty and deprivation because children are asset of the nation that is why our Constitution time and again mandates welfare of the children”, he added.
“The Juvenile Justice Boards and Child Welfare Committees are the soul of the Juvenile Justice System and in absence of such bodies the functioning of the Juvenile Justice System faces a serious challenge”, Justice Attar said.
Justice Alok Aradhe, in his key note address, highlighted that Constitution mandates us to work for the welfare of the children that is why special provisions have been made by the Constitutional framers for the welfare of the children. “The Juvenile Justice Act is a welfare legislation which not only deals with the children in conflict with law but also the children in need of care and protection. But in absence of Juvenile Justice Boards, it is very difficult for the Principal Magistrates to address the special needs of children in conflict with law”, he added.
“The Judicial Officers are under heavy constitutional duty to reach out to the children in conflict with law and treat them fairly as per the Act and Rules”, he stressed.
Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey highlighted that the Juvenile Justice Act contains safeguards and protection for both the juvenile in conflict with law and the child in need of care and protection. “However, in so far as the implementation of the provisions of the Act in the State are concerned, the position is not encouraging. Effective follow up action is required on the part of the State Government for setting up of Juvenile Justice Boards, Child Welfare Committees and Child Protection Police Units”, he added.
He hoped that the workshop will help the Judicial Officers to understand the Juvenile Justice System in a better way so as to able to implement the provisions of the Act in its letter and spirit.
Advocate General Jehangir Iqbal Ganie assured the Chairman, Juvenile Justice Committee and the Judicial Officers that it will be his sincere endeavour to ensure that the Juvenile Justice Boards and Child Welfare Committees are constituted and put in place as soon as possible so that the benefit of the Juvenile Justice Act and the Rules reaches out to the children in conflict with law.
Eminent scholars and resource persons of UNICEF Bharti Ali and Mohuams Nigudkar are participating in the workshop. More than 60 Judicial Officers and Police Officers are participating in the workshop.
Justice Hasnain Masoodi, former Judge, High Court of Jammu & Kashmir chaired the technical sessions on the first day and moderated the discussions. He gave an oversight of the Juvenile Justice System in the State and highlighted that the Juvenile Justice System stressed on the future welfare of the juvenile rather than on punishment for the past misdemeanours.
The proceedings were conducted by Abdul Rashid Malik, Director J&K State Judicial Academy, who emphasized that the object of the workshop was to sensitize the Judicial Officers on Juvenile Justice System and their role as Principal Magistrates of Juvenile Justice Boards while dealing with the children in conflict with law. He highlighted that the Juvenile Justice Act takes care not only of the children in conflict with law but all the children in need of care and protection.