Over 1600 cases pending with Juvenile Justice Board in State
BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, May 7: Even though as per Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, every inquiry into the cases relating to juvenile has to be complete within 4 months, as many as 1632 cases are pending in 26 Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) across the state.
Of the 27 districts gaon figured highest with 244 pending cases. A top official of state Social Welfare department said that there are five observation homes run by the state government of Assam, three each for boys and two for girls. And seven observation homes are about to be established. Citing about the challenges faced he said that due to the uneven topography, communication and growing population of Assam sometimes it becomes difficult to detect and deport juveniles to respective observation homes.
As of March 31, 2015, there were 37% cases lying pending before the boards for more than one year. To understand the reason for pendency, the state Social Welfare has emphasized the need to conduct a study on pendency of cases and accordingly Jayprakash Institute of Social Sciences (JPISc), Kolkata, conducted the study under the mandate of Juvinile Justice Monitoring Committee of Gauhati High court.
Speaking at the meeting, Dr. Mahesh Menon of tiol University of Judicial Sciences, Kolkata and Researcher from JPISC, cited about the systematic delays in the working of the Judicial Justice system in Assam. He lamented on issues in documentation and the gaps and limitations in data’s, and also about the lack of clarity in the records except Tinsukia, Karbi Anglong and Kokrajhar which have relatively better record maintence practices. He added that even the numbering of cases before the board does not have a uniformity in practice.
“One of the erratic reasons for delaying cases is the time taken for the grant of bail to the juvenile and the time taken for determining the age,” Menon said. He also cited chargesheet related delays saying ‘only 19% of such chargesheets are submitted on time’. Supreme Court Judge M B Lokur, Chief Justice of Gauhati High Court and Juvenile Justice Monitoring Committee were also present at the meeting.