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Roundtable Conference on Juvenile Justice concludes
Conclave successfully brought stakeholders together: Justice Lokur
SRINAGAR, Sep 10: The 2-day State Roundtable Conference on implementation of Jammu and Kashmir Juvenile Justice Act concluded at Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC) here on Sunday.

On the second day of the roundtable conference, the working groups comprising judges, judicial officers, lawyers, police officials and social activists identified the problems, challenges and issues in the implementation of the Juvenile Justice Act and came up with their suggestions.

During the deliberations, the participants stressed the need to rope in ICDS, ICPS, Anganwari workers, Volunteers, Village Level Workers, Social Workers and other stakeholders and utilize their services to identify vulnerable children who need attention of the society.

The groups also called for setting up permanent infrastructure in every district of J&K for which state or the centre can provide the land or compensation for acquiring land to develop infrastructure including Children’s Homes and Observation Homes.

The participants stressed the need to have an interim arrangement for immediate implementation of Juvenile Justice Act vis-a-vis vesting of such powers to District Magistrates. Experts said there is absence of competent authority to deal with CNCP.

Experts also called for the need to conduct a survey by outreach workers including Anganwari workers and other NGOs besides involving academicians to conduct baseline research regarding the condition of juveniles and identification of the issues and problems faced by the juveniles in respective areas.

The working groups further suggested that there should be exclusive and dedicated cadres in Police, Judiciary and Social Welfare for Child Protection Functions besides regular interface between concerned departments and allied services.

The participants said there is lack of individualized rehabilitation mechanism in CCI’s and called for creating safe spaces for dialogue in educational institutions to identify the problems of the juveniles besides working on capacity building to ensure individualized social investigation reports.

While calling for synergy between Judiciary, Police and Administration, experts also stressed on the formulation of plan of action through a participatory process and convergence at State and District levels with definite timelines.

During the conference the experts also called for a separate legal aid cell at the Police Station Level and a separate exclusive panel of lawyers for matters relating to juveniles in conflict with law besides providing legal training to the staff so that they can have basic knowledge about the juvenile rights band enable them to provide assistance at the initial stage.

Speaking during the valedictory function, Chief Guest, Justice Madan B Lokur, Supreme Court Judge, expressed satisfaction over the outcome of the two day conference and said that the conference has been able to bring all the stakeholders together to work for the effective implementation of the Juvenile Justice Act-2013.

He said all the stakeholders have been able to sit together to identify the problems, challenges and issues and worked together to come up with solutions. He said the success of the conference is that all stakeholders introspected and accepted their shortcomings and in the end resolved to remove all the bottlenecks to implement the Act effectively. He said the J&K High Court must be complimented for being successful in this endeavour.

Justice Lokur called upon all the stake holders to work in tandem to set up Juvenile Justice Boards, Child Welfare Committees, Advisory Boards and Observation Homes at earliest which are a prerequisite for the implementation of the Act. HE said all the suggestions need to be taken care of by all the stakeholders that will help them while dealing with the juveniles.

The Supreme Court Judge who is also Chairman, Juvenile Justice Committee Supreme Court of India, appealed the Media to play their role in sensitizing the society regarding juvenile issues. HE said there are so many good things happening around which are not being reported. He said Media can play important role in debating issues like that of Juveniles and provide suggestions and solutions to the government that will help us to make a conducive and favourable environment for the juveniles.

Chief Justice J&K High Court, Badar Durrez Ahmed while speaking on the occasion said all stake holders who participated in the conference must take the snapshot of it and chalk out a plan and make their aims and objectives for future actions to be taken for effective implementation of Juvenile Justice Act.

He stressed on the Police and other law enforcing agencies to be extra cautious and sensitive while dealing with the juveniles. He said we need to apprehend rule of law through Juvenile’s Point of View adding that for a juvenile it is irrepressible loss for a innocent kid if arrested without any sin or crime.

Chief Justice also called for greater awareness with regard to the sensitization of the people regarding juvenile issues. He said regardless of the political, economic or social philosophy of a government, welfare of the children is of the utmost importance and must be given top priority. He said the judiciary has played vital role in sensitizing all the stake holders by bringing them together and in identifying workable solutions in order to trigger changes at the ground level.

Chief Secretary, BB Vyas while speaking on the occasion said holding of this conference which is dedicated to our future (Children) is significant, critical and timely.

News Updated at : Sunday, September 10, 2017
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