SC notice to J and K, centre on juvenile offender's plea
New Delhi, March 11 : The Supreme Court Monday issued notice to the central and Jammu and Kashmir governments on a plea seeking the quashing of a criminal case against a 12-year-old boy and implementation of a law on juvenile offenders in the state.
An apex court bench of Justice R.M. Lodha, Justice J. Chelameswar and Justice Madan B. Lokur also issued notice on the plea of alleged illegal "detention, harassment and torture of the juvenile" of the Srinagar boy and demand for a Rs.10 lakh compensation.
The boy was accused of pelting stones on police at Iddgah, Ali Jan Road, Aug 20, 2012.
The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, which deals with juvenile delinquents, is applicable in the entire country except in Jammu and Kashmir.
The apex court issued notice in the wake of submission by the senior counsel Bhim Singh that the boy was arrested Aug 25, 2012, and kept in police custody for 40 hours before being presented before a Srinagar magistrate who, Aug 27, 2012, ordered that the accused be sent to judicial custody and re-presented in court Sep 10, 2012.
Though a sessions court granted bail to the boy Aug 28, 2012, Bhim Singh told the apex court that the arrest and police detention of the boy for 40 hours and his remand by the magistrate were illegal.
He said that the detention of the boy by police was in violation of Article 22 of the constitution that provides for protection against arrest and detention in certain cases.
Contending that the boy had done no wrong, the petition said that he was a Class 6 student who was picked up by police around 9.30 p.m. Aug 25, 2012, and was presented before the magistrate Aug 27, 2012 at 2 p.m.
The petition said that the boy was entitled to protection of rights guaranteed to a minor child under the constitution.
Bhim Singh said that the boy should have been presented before a juvenile justice board but that was not possible as the Jammu and Kashmir government had not implemented the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act.
The petition said the alleged abuse of children rights by the state government was in breach of the Convention of the Rights of Child adopted by the United Nations General assembly Nov 20, 1989, and it was ratified by India Dec 11, 1992.