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news details
DB issues directives in PIL regarding child abuse
2/12/2018 10:12:52 PM
Early Times Report
Jammu, Feb 12: In a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Advocate Shivan Mahajan against child abuse, a Division Bench of State High Court Comprising Chief Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed and Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur after hearing Sr. Adv Sunil Sethi with Adv Parimoksh Seth for the PIL whereas AAG Ravinder Gupta, Deputy AG Rahul Bharti and Adv MA Bhat for the respondents, directed Social Welfare Department and the Education Department to take joint action on this aspect of the matter and prescribe a manner of creating awareness in schools with regard to child abuse.
When the PIL came-up for hearing, Sr. Adv Sunil Sethi drew the attention of Court to the order dated 31.01.2018 passed by the Division Bench in the Srinagar Wing in PIL No. 09/2015. The directions given therein take care of the issue with regard to constitution and operationalizing the Juvenile Justice Boards throughout the State of Jammu and Kashmir. The said order also deals with other aspects including the setting up of the Child Welfare Committees in each of the 22 Districts of the State. It also pertains to the setting up of special homes in the State, as required under the Jammu and Kashmir Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2013 and the Rules made thereunder.
Division Bench headed by Chief Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed observed that both the above suggestions are valid and asked the counsel for the respondents as to whether there was any policy or scheme for creating such awareness and for appointing such officers/teachers as well as of providing any helpline where complaints could be made by children who are being subjected to child abuse within the school premises.
Division Bench also directed counsel for the respondents could not give any positive answer on this aspect. Therefore, this Court is of the view that if no such scheme or policy is in place, it would be appropriate that the Social Welfare Department and the Education Department take joint action on this aspect of the matter and prescribe a manner of creating awareness in schools with regard to child abuse.
DB further observed that one of the suggestions given by Mr Sethi is for putting up display boards in simple language, informing the children as to what is child abuse and in the languages which are understood by the children in the area concerned, Upon this Division Bench directed Headmasters/Principles of the schools to nominate at least one teacher/official, who is/are sensitive to child issues, to be nominated as the person to whom complaints could be made whenever a child fears that he/she is undergoing child abuse within the school premises.
Division Bench directed respondents to file compliance/status report within four weeks.
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