Court notice to Delhi government on juveniles

Last Updated: Thu, Jan 31, 2013 19:44 hrs

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has issued notice to the city government on a petition alleging that no steps were taken to protect delinquent minors trapped and used by adult criminals for committing offences.

A division bench of Chief Justice D. Murugesan and Justice V.K. Jain, hearing the plea Wednesday, also sought response from the state's women and child development department by April 3. The court had earlier also sought a response from Delhi Police.

The public interest litigation, filed by advocate Anant Asthana, alleged that no steps were taken by police "as mandated under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, to protect delinquent minors who are being trapped and used by adult hardcore criminals for committing offences".

"State Child Protection Unit and District Child Protection Units which are mandated to be created under the Act are the bodies which are primarily responsible for identification of children who are at risk and for making preventive programmes in order to reach out to children and take them in the safety net of state," said the petition.

It further stated that ironically the State Child Protection Unit in Delhi remains merely as a paper tiger till date and no District Child Protection Units have been created, despite the fact that adequate finances are now available.

Seeking direction to police for implementation of Juvenile Justice Board guidelines issued in 2011 to probe offences in which minors were used by adult criminals, the plea added that in the guidelines, police were asked to go after the adult criminals to save juveniles.

"But, most of the times, police prefer not to lodge FIRs in cases where minors are caught red-handed as they will have to arrest the adult criminals," it added.

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