Srinagar: In a move that has raised eyebrows, the Jammu & Kashmir government has granted one-year extension to members of Juvenile Justice Boards and Child Welfare Committees.
The Social Welfare Department, which is administrative department of JJBs and CWCs, has issued an order to grant one-year extension to members of JJBs and CWCs, raising questions from different quarters.
“During the process of selection of fresh Juvenile Justice Boards and Child Welfare Committees under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Welfare Act, 2015 and Juvenile Justice( Child and Welfare) Model Rules, 2016, the existing Juvenile Justice Boards and Welfare Committees shall be allowed to continue their functioning for period of one year or till such fresh selections are made as per the prescribed procedure, whichever is earlier,” reads an order issued by Social Welfare department.
The order has raised questions whether the government can give one-year extension to CWC and JJB members.
“The Juvenile Justice law unambiguously states that JJB and CWC members will have three-year tenure. This is brazen violation of section 27(6) of JJ Act 2015, which clearly states that they shall not be appointed for a period of more than 3 years. The word ‘shall’ has been used in the law, which means it is mandatory and nobody can overrule it,” a delegation said.
They also questioned government’s lax approach for fresh recruitments when there is a clear-cut statutory provision that these appointments are only for three years.
“We appeal Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha to look into the matter. Majority of the members of JJBs and CWCs are retired government employees who are already drawing pension. They are also getting additional remuneration as members of JJBs and CWCs ,” they said.
Every JJB has two members and a principal magistrate while CWC has four members and a chairman.
The selections for these posts were made three years ago by selection-cum-oversight committee headed by a retired High Court judge—(KNO)