Guv gives nod to setting up of Commission for Protection of Women, Child Rights

Sufficient courts to be established for speedy trial of offences
Laws affecting vulnerable sections of society to be reviewed
Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, Dec 23: In order to effectively safeguard the rights of women and children, Governor Satya Pal Malik has given nod to the establishment of a composite Commission and sufficient number of courts for speedy trial of offences against these vulnerable sections of the society. Moreover, the Commission will review the existing provisions of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir and laws affecting women and children and recommend necessary amendments.
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that though requirement of such a Commission in Jammu and Kashmir was being felt during the past quite long time but the successive Governments’ concern for these vulnerable sections of the society remained confined to the statements only.
However, Governor Satya Pal Malik, while exercising powers conferred under Proclamation No.P-1/18 of 2018 dated June 20, 2018 has accorded sanction for constitution of a State Commission for Protection of Women and Child Rights and courts for speedy trial of offences against women and children.
“Earlier, there was only a Women’s Commission in the State, which, however, failed to deliver up to the desired level. Now, the new Commission will effectively safeguard the rights of the women as well as children as it has been given sufficient powers by way of enactment of a legislation”, sources said while disclosing that with this decision the State Commission for Women Act, 1999 has been repealed.
This Commission will consist of a whole time Chairperson to be nominated by the Government amongst the eminent persons, who have done outstanding work for protection and welfare of women and children, and four members.
“The Commission will investigate, examine and review all matters relating to the safeguards provided for women and children rights under the Constitution and any law for the time being in force for their protection and recommend measures for their effective implementation”, sources said.
It will also inquire into violation of women and child rights and made recommendations for the effective implementation of safeguards for improving the condition of women and children by the State Government. Moreover, the Commission will review, from time to time, the existing provisions of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir and laws affecting women and children and suggest remedial legislative measures to meet any lacunae, inadequacies or shortcomings in such legislations.
The Commission will also examine all factors that inhibit the enjoyment of rights of women and children affected by terrorism, communal violence, riots, natural disaster, domestic violence, trafficking, maltreatment, torture, pornography and prostitution and recommend appropriate remedial measures.
The Commission has been given sufficient powers for inspection of any juvenile custodial home under the control of the Government or any other authority including any institution run by a social organization. “The Commission will also be in a position to call for special studies or investigations into specific problems or situations arising out of discrimination and atrocities against women and children and identify the constraints so as to recommend strategies for their removal”, sources said.
Stating that Commission will have all the powers of a Civil Court trying a suit under the Code of Civil Procedure, sources said that Commission can forward any case to a Magistrate to try the same and such Magistrate shall have to proceed to hear the complaint against the accused as if the case has been forwarded to him under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
As per the legislation, the Government for the purpose of providing speedy trial of offences against the women and children or of violation of women and child rights with the concurrence of the Chief Justice of State High Court specify for each district the Court of Session to be a Women and Children’s Court.
For every Women and Children’s Court, the Government will specify a Public Prosecutor or appoint an advocate who has been in practice for not less than seven years as a Special Public Prosecutor for the purpose of conducting cases in that court. Moreover, Government will consult the Commission on all major policy matters affecting women and children.