HC directs setting up of pool of Judicial Magistrates
Chennai, April 08: Noting the conditions prevailing in the various Juvenile homes in Tamil Nadu, the Madras High Court has directed constitution of a pool of 30 Judicial Magistrates for posting on Juvenile Justice Boards (JJBs) to monitor functioning of the homes.
Giving its orders on a writ petition, a Division Bench, comprising Chief Justice A.P.Shah and Justice Sridevan, directed the court registry to constitute the pool, provide training to the magistrates through the Tamil Nadu Judicial Academy within three months.
Also directing the state government to sanction the necessary staff for the JJBs within six months, the bench told the government to finalise a proposal for fixing criteria for selection of social workers to the boards and child welfare committees within two months.
The state police chief has also been told to include more aspects of the Juvenile Justice Act in training programme for police officials, including senior police officers.
Telling the government to take necessary steps for appointment of 12 probationary officers, within six months, to the observation boards, the judges also directed the state to fill the 36 vacant posts of teachers for the academic and vocational programmes offered to children, within three months
The judges told the state Home Secretary to consider the proposals made by the Commissioner of Social Defence on November 23 last year and March 11 last and take appropriate decisions with regard to strengthening the functions of the existing special Juvenile and police units, among other things, within three months. The High Court while passing interim orders on a writ petition on October 19, 2006 had constituted an expert committee to examine the conditions prevailing in different children's homes, special homes, observation homes and shelter homes in the state. The committee had also been directed to go into the working of JJBs, child welfare boards and the role of the police and other related matters.
The committee, headed by Justice (retired) M.V.Bala Subramanian, had highlighted 12 major issues that needed immediate attention. The state government by an order of August 16 last took up each issue independently. The government submitted an action taken report on March 17. - Agencies