HC directs CJMs to preside over as Principal Magistrates of JJBs

Excelsior Correspondent
Srinagar, May 4: As the Government has failed to appoint Magistrates for Justice Juvenile Boards (JJBs), High Court today directed 14 Chief Judicial Magistrates deputed in their respective districts to preside over as Principal Magistrates of JJBs till the actual posts are sanctioned.
Hearing the PIL on proper implementation of Jammu and Kashmir Juvenile Justice(Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2013 and the Rules of 2014 and functioning of JJBs for each district, the Division Bench of Justice Mohammad Yaqoob Mir and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey directed  the CJMs in district Kupwara, Bandipora, Ganderbal, Budgam, Pulwama, Shopian, Kulgam, Ramban, Kishtwar, Udhampur,Reasi, Rajouri, Kathua and Samba to preside over as Principal Magistrates over the Juvenile Justice Boards in these districts till the posts of Principal Magistrates are sanctioned.
About the rest of districts of Srinagar, Baramulla, Anantnag, Leh, Kargil, Doda, Jammu and Poonch, Court has made it clear while the JJBs presided over by the designated Principal Magistrates and comprising of the members already appointed may function at the districts identified in the SRO 117, with the territorial jurisdiction restricted to their respective districts.
“…We feel it necessary to make clarification of the order of this Court dated 6th of October, 2017 and consequent amendment of SRO 117. We are in-agreement with the observations that SRO 117, for the reasons detailed, may result in non-compliance with the provisions JJ Act, 2013 and the Rules of 2014”, DB said.
Pertinent to mention that two Juvenile Justice Board members in each of the 14 districts stand already appointed and would be associated with the respective JJBs.
“The order dated 6th of October, 2017, is, accordingly, clarified. Let SRO 117 of 2018 be re-casted in terms of this order so that the Jammu and Kashmir Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2013 and the Rules of 2014, to the extent these relate to juvenile in conflict with law, are implemented in letter and spirit”, read the order.
It may be mentioned here that 22 Juvenile Justice Boards were required to be set up for 22 districts of the State of Jammu and Kashmir. While noticing that, in absence of 22 JJBs to be set up under Section 4(1) of the Jammu and Kashmir Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2013, the Chief Judicial Magistrates, having jurisdiction in their respective areas, are exercising the powers and performing the functions of the Boards till the formal constitution of the aforesaid JJBs.
High Court in terms of order passed on last year, observed that 22 Additional posts of Judicial Magistrates (FirstClass) would have to be created, being a requirement of the Act of 2013 and the Rules of 2014 and the Law Department was directed to process the requirement of 22 posts of Judicial Magistrates (FirstClass) on priority basis, without awaiting any further communication from the Registrar General of this Court.
As per the Act there was a need for creation of additional 22 posts of Judicial Magistrates which would head these JJBs and this issue was highlighted by the court in various orders, therefore, the CS of the state in its meeting took the said issue and decided to constitute JJBs in all the 22 districts of the state in a phased manner.