CHENNAI: Those indulging in sexually abusing children should be dealt with an iron hand and imposing severe punishment on them can act as a deterrent, Justice Indira Banerjee, Chief Justice of Madras High Court has said. Speaking at the inaugural of the two-day state consultation on ‘Laws relating to children: issues and challenges in implementation’, the CJ said though there are laws to protect children and punish the offenders, those laws should be implemented effectively.
“All the officers in the Juvenile Justice Board should have worked with children earlier. The kids who are victims of any form of abuse should be treated equally and just because they hail from a poor family, they should not be treated any less,” she said.
Pointing out that 98 FIRs were filed in the last four months against children in conflict with law, Girija Kumarababu, general secretary, Indian Council for Child Welfare said, these figures are disturbing and the issue has to be addressed.
Out of the 98 cases, 37 are heinous crimes committed by juveniles. As many as eight cases under POCSO, one on a missing girl, five murders, 11 robbery and 12 hurt cases have been registered so far, she said, adding poverty, parental neglect, drug abuse and alcohol and adolescent behaviour are some of the reasons for juvenile crime.
Pointing out an incident wherein 34 children ransacked a govt observation home in the city, she said it was a result of frustration borne out of negligence.
Job Zachariah, Unicef chief for TN and Kerala, said the development of a country is determined by the status of children on health, education, nutrition, development and protection. The two-day consultation saw the participation of nearly 20 HC judges, judges of Mahila courts and members of juvenile justice boards.