The Gujarat High Court issued a notice to the State Government, Commission for Protection of Child Rights and the Director-General of Police on Tuesday to implement the Supreme Court (SC)’s directions regarding the enforcement of the Juveline Justice Act.
The court had initiated a suo motu Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in 2015 directing the state authorities on the implementation of the apex court’s orders issued in a PIL filed by Bachpan Bachao Andolan and Sampurna Behura. When both the petitioners approached the court for accurate implementation of the law, then the court directed the petitioners to deliver details about the directions that have not been complied with.
The bench of Chief Justice Aravind Kumar and Justice Ashutosh Shastri issued notice to Commission for Protection of Child Rights because the petitioners pointed out that various positions in the juvenile justice homes and the child rights committees are vacant. Out of 18 sanctioned posts, half of the posts in the state committee are vacant including six members and a deputy secretary.
Notably, the entire state body of the state commission is defunct because there is not a single person holding any of the posts of members present in the commission. The chairperson’s post is also vacant. They submitted that only four districts witness proper compliance with regular sitting by the juvenile justice committees. There are 14 districts in which the tenure of members of child welfare committees is over and the process is required to be initiated for fresh appointments.
Also pointed out lacunas in other processes of preparing annual reports and social audits, which various other high courts have streamlined by issuing guidelines in respective states.