Barring heinous crimes, no FIR can be registered against children
By: Ibni Maqbool
Srinagar: The draft Jammu and Kashmir Juvenile Justice Rules-2021 unveiled by the J&K administration on Monday clearly stated that no First Information Report(FIR) shall be registered except where a heinous offence is alleged to have been committed by a child, or when such offence is alleged to have been committed jointly with adults.
“In all other matters, the special juvenile police unit or the child welfare police officer shall record the information regarding the offence alleged to have been committed by the child in the general daily diary followed by a social background report of the child in Form 1 and circumstances under which the child was apprehended, wherever applicable, and forward it to the Board before the first hearing,” read the draft rules, a copy of which is in the possession of Precious Kashmir.
The draft rules were unveiled by the administration nearly two years after implementation of the central juvenile justice law in Jammu & Kashmir.
In a notification, the Social Welfare Department has put the Jammu and Kashmir Juvenile Justice Rules-2021 in public domain to seek feedback from different stakeholders.
“Before finalizing the rules, the department hereby invites all the public authorities/ stakeholders/ philanthropists, NGOs closely connected with the child protection regime, or otherwise, to furnish necessary feedback/ comments/suggestions on the draft rules,” reads the notification.
The feedback could be submitted to the administrative secretary, Social Welfare by or before September 25.
According to the draft rules, there shall be one or more Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) in each district to be constituted by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir through a notification in the official gazette.
“The Board shall consist of a metropolitan magistrate or a judicial magistrate of first class having at least three years’ experience to be designated as the principal magistrate of the Board and two social worker members, of whom one shall be a woman, forming a Bench,” the rules state.
The social worker members, according to the draft rules, members shall be appointed by the government of Jammu and Kashmir on the recommendations of the selection committee constituted under these rules.
According to the rules, the police officer apprehending a child alleged to be in conflict with law shall not send the child to a police lock-up and not delay the child being transferred to the child welfare police officer from the nearest police station.
The rules also state that the police officer apprehending the child shall not hand-cuff, chain or otherwise fetter a child and shall not use any coercion or force on the child.
“The police officer apprehending a child alleged to be in conflict with law shall inform the child promptly and directly of the charges levelled against him through his parent or guardian and if a First Information Report is registered, copy of the same shall be made available to the child or copy of the police report shall be given to the parent or guardian, the Rules further state.
The rules maintain that if the child alleged to be in conflict with law is apprehended, he shall be produced before the JJB within 24 hours of his being apprehended, along with a report explaining the reasons for the child being apprehended by the police.