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Juvenile Justice Act covers abandoned, deserted children, orphans too: HC.

SRINAGAR -- The High Court has observed that the Juvenile Justice Act and rules under it cover not only the juveniles in conflict with law but also the orphans and abandoned and deserted children for the purpose of benefits under it.

A division bench of Chief Justice Baddar Durrez Ahmad and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey observed that the orphans and abandoned and deserted children should be treated equally for the purpose of benefits under the Act.

The observation came after the bench pointed out that the Act is explicitly clear on such points and there is no room for any misgiving.

The court directed the director social welfare department to remain present on August 2.

Amicus Curie Bashir Ahmad Bashir highlighted what he called the decrepit condition of the buildings housing orphanages in various districts.

'In Chadoora the orphanage runs in a dilapidated house. Nothing is happening in an organised manner,' he told the court.

The Amicus said directions should be passed for furnishing data in a tabulated form about the number of orphanages in Kashmir division, including Ladakh.

The details, he said, should also include male and female inmates in the orphanages, number of buildings owned by the social welfare department, number of buildings on rent and sanctioned strength and deficiency of the staff that required to be filled up.

State counsel Hashim Hussain told the court that on the renovation and upgradation of orphanages at Nishat Rs 73 lakhs have been spent and the work is almost complete.

On the issue of sports facility, the court observed that the two orphanages at Nishat have basic sports equipments. It, however, observed there is no coach for the inmates.

Advocate Moksha Kazmi, representing the sports department, told the court that a coach would be made available for the benefit of the inmates.

In 2016, taking suo-moto cognisance of a news report in Greater Kashmir on poor facilities at government run orphanages-Markazi Falah-eItfal and Markazi Falah-e- Mastoorat at Nishat-the High Court had treated the report as Public Interest Litigation and initiated proceedings against the state.

The court had directed the government to ensure release of funds for renovation of the buildings of the two government-run orphanages.

In its report of 4 May 2016, this newspaper had highlighted the ugly picture of government-run children's home at Nishat on city outskirts for lacking basic healthcare facilities.

The report had highlighted that the children are being deprived of basic rights with officials ostensibly forcing them to do menial jobs like washing clothes and sweeping floors.

The children had fallen prey to diseases like anemia and social welfare department has failed to take any measures, GK had reported.

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Publication:Balochistan Times (Baluchistan Province, Pakistan)
Date:Jul 21, 2017
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