Suo-motu PIL over juvenile care laws, notices to Tamil Nadu, Puducherry

Suggests establishing child-friendly courts and vulnerable witness courts

Published: 28th February 2018 03:36 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th February 2018 03:36 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

CHENNAI: First bench of the Madras High Court has ordered notices to the governments of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and their various agencies including the DGP, on a suo-motu PIL to strengthen Justice Juvenile (Care and Protection of Children) Act and other related Acts.

The bench of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Abdul Quddhose, which ordered the notice on Tuesday, posted the matter for April 2 for filing compliance report.

The PIL was based on a judgment dated February 9 last of the Supreme Court on another PIL from one Sampurna Behura, who had raised various questions over virtual non-implementation of laws beneficial to the voiceless children, particularly the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 and the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.

It highlighted the failure of the State to implement various provisions like establishment of child welfare committees, justice boards and special juvenile police units. She also prayed for directions to improve the living conditions of juveniles in conflict with law and had raised several other human rights issues.
And passing orders on the PIL, the bench issued a set of directions. Since the involvement of the State machinery is critical to child rights and the effective implementation of the JJ Act, it would be appropriate if each High Court and its Juvenile Justice Committee continues its proactive role in welfare of children.
To make the involvement and process more meaningful, the bench requested the Chief Justice of every High Court to register proceedings on its own so that roadblocks, if any, are meaningfully addressed.

They also directed the Chief Justice of each High Court to consider establishing child-friendly courts and vulnerable witness courts in each district. Inquiries under the JJ Act and trials under other statutes such as the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 and the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006, trials for sexual offences under the IPC and other similar laws should be conducted with a high degree of sensitivity.

“It is often said that the experience of juveniles in our courts is traumatic. We need to have some compassion – even to juveniles in conflict with law, since they are entitled to the presumption of innocence. Establishing child-friendly courts and vulnerable witness courts is perhaps one of the solutions.
The bench has also forwarded copies of its judgment to the Registrar Generals of  every High Court for being placed before their respective Chief Justices for initiating suo motu proceedings. Accordingly, the judgment was placed before CJ Banerjee, who treated it as a PIL and ordered notice to the governments.

Written arguments sought in case to disqualify 11 AIADMK MLAs

Chennai: Advising the parties in the PIL petition seeking to disqualify O Panneerselvam and 10 other MLAs, to file their arguments in written form, the first bench of Madras High Court posted the matter for further hearing on March 5. In his PIL, DMK whip R Sakkarapani sought to disqualify the 11 MLAs, including OPS, for voting against the Edappadi K Palanisamy government during the confidence vote conducted in the Assembly on February 18 last year. Arguments of both sides concluded on Tuesday.

Orders on plea seeking action against Nithyananda reserved

Chennai: Madras High Court has reserved orders on a writ petition seeking appropriate action against controversial Godman Nithyananda. Justice R Mahadevan reserved orders, after hearing elaborate arguments from both sides and that of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment department, on Tuesday.

The petition from Jagathalapradhapan of Madurai also sought to restrain Nithyananda from interfering with the affairs of the adheenam mutt in Madurai.


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