New Delhi, Sep 14: The Supreme Court has been moved over the "illegal detention of children" in Jammu and Kashmir following abrogation of Article 370 and the reorganisation of the state into two Union Territories (UTs). The petition has been filed by Enakshi Ganguly, an eminent child rights expert, and Shanta Sinha, first chairperson of the National Commission for Child Rights (NCPCR). Alleging the illegal detention of children in Kashmir, as reported in the media, the petitioners have sought judicial intervention in the matter. They have prayed that the court should ask for a status report and direct the Juvenile Justice Committee of the High Court of J&K to monitor incidents of detention. Over a dozen petitions have been filed in the apex court on the post-Article 370 abrogation situation and issues of J&K.
The petitioners contended that there had been reports specific to children that indicate violation of liberty and were serious enough to attract judicial review. They highlighted two key areas of concern -- illegal detention of young boys and serious injuries and deaths of children, deliberate or accidental. "As a constitutional democracy, it''s imperative, especially in these extraordinary circumstances, that the apex court ensure that no excesses take place against women and children, admittedly most vulnerable in such tense situations", read the petition.
The petitioners contended that all persons below the age of 18, detained in any police station, detention centre, jail, or any other confinement, by whatever name in J&K be identified through an age census, conducted under the aegis of the Juvenile Justice Committee of the High Court of J&K. They have also sought a direction for payment of compensation to children, detained illegally, and to their families in case of death.