Children need care, protection: CJ Mittal

Chief Justice, High Court J&K, Gita Mittal today said that she firmly believes that Children need care and protection, particularly.

She said this during her address at one day orientation/ consultation programme on Implementation of Juvenile Justice Act, 2015(Opportunities and Challenges for Children in J&K).

The programme was attended by Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur, Justice Sindhu Sharma, Principal District and Sessions Judge Srinagar Abdul Rashid Malik, Deputy Commissioner Srinagar Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, Dr Ved Kumari, Faculty of Law, University of Delhi, Hilal Ahmed Bhat Child Protection Specialist UNICEF.

The programme was also attended by Principal Magistrates and members of Juvenile Justice Boards, Judicial officers of Srinagar, probation officers, institutional care, non-institutional care and legal cum probation officers, police officers.

Chief Justice said there are some challenges in dealing with children in tough situations which officials need to be sensitized about.  “Age determination test is extremely important. We have to be very conscious when children in conflict with law are produced before authorities,” she emphasized.

“Children in conflict with law are invariably in need of care and protection that is what we need to remember,” she added.

She said that process has been started in Jammu schools in association with J&K Legal Services Authority to sensitize children that they can be held culpable for major offences and would face drastic consequences under law.

“This is one of the exercises to empower them. This act brings in adoption and foster care,” she said.

Regarding the Judicial delays, she stressed on sensitization of all stakeholders in avoiding these delays

“A lot of judicial delays are relatable to children not being produced before the board for whatever reasons.”

Justice Gitta Mittal complimented Juvenile Justice Committee and other stakeholders for conceptualizing workshop.

“You have done great job under the active leadership of Juvenile Justice Committee in last one and half year.  I must say we have been able to achieve so much despite challenges,” she said.

She also asked the officials and judicial officers to be sensitized to the specifics of Juvenile Justice Act and child care and get engrossed to its procedural requirements to ensure substantive justice.

Earlier, the Chief Justice inaugurated first ever well-equipped Creche at District Court Complex Srinagar. The facility is in a spacious room for children of working lawyer parents and the staff of the court.

Notably, Justice Gita Mittal inaugurated first ever ‘Ahata Waqar’- Daycare and recreation centre for senior citizens in J&K at Primary Health Centre, Chanapora in April this year.

Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur who is also member of Juvenile Justice Committee J&K High Court on the occasion emphasized on ways to reach to those children also who cannot reach out to the officials dealing with Juvenile Justice.

Principal District and Sessions Judge Srinagar Abdul Rashid Malik presented vote of thanks.

He praised the guidance of Justice Gita Mittal in ensuring Juvenile Justice System becomes a reality in the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.

Malik thanked the participants for their keen interest and efforts in implementation of Juvenile justice Act in letter and spirit.

Child Protection Specialist, UNICEF India-J&K, Hilal Bhat, during his welcome address, presented a brief introduction of the programme to the participants.