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J&K Juvenile Justice Rules draft: ‘No FIR against children except in heinous offences’

juvenile


Srinagar: No First Information Report(FIR) shall be registered except where a heinous offence is alleged to have been committed by a child, or when such offence is alleged to have been committed jointly with adults, suggested the draft Jammu and Kashmir Juvenile Justice Rules-2021 unveiled by the J&K administration.

The Social Welfare Department has framed Jammu and Kashmir Juvenile Justice Rules-2021 draft and put the same in public domain for feedback and suggestions from stakeholders, NGOs, philanthropists, and individuals connected with child protection services before finalising the rules of Jammu and Kashmir Juvenile Justice Rules, 2021 under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2016.

 

The department has asked the stakeholders to give their feedback before September 25.

The draft essentially speaks about not registering FIRs against the children for crimes except ones which are heinous in nature.

“In all other matters, the Special Juvenile Police unit or the Child Welfare Police Officer shall record the information regarding the offence alleged to have been committed by the child in the general daily followed by a social background report of the child and circumstances under which the child was apprehended, wherever applicable, and forward it to the Board before the first hearing,” the rules reads.

For the crimes, which do not demand registration of FIR against a juvenile, the draft said that the children have to be produced before the board for hearings.

“Provided that the power to apprehend shall only be exercised with regard to heinous offences, unless it is in the best interest of the child. For all other cases involving petty and serious offences and cases where apprehending the child is not necessary in the interest of the child, the police or Special Juvenile Police Unit or Child Welfare Police Officer shall forward the information regarding the nature of offence alleged to be committed by the child along with his social background report to the Board and intimate the parents or guardian of the child as to when the child is to be produced for hearing before the Board,” it said.

Moreover, the draft says the child be placed under the charge of the Special Juvenile Police Unit or the Child Welfare Police Officer when apprehended in conflict with law the police.

It said the police officer apprehending the child in conflict with law should not send the child to police lock-up and “not delay the child being transferred to the Child Welfare Police Officer from the nearest police station.”

“Not hand-cuff, chain or otherwise fetter a child and shall not use any coercion or force on the child,” the draft said.

It said a police officer should not compel the child to confess his guilt and “he shall be interviewed only at the Special Juvenile Police Unit or at a child-friendly premises or at a child friendly corner in the police station, which does not give the feel of a police station or of being under custodial interrogation. The parent or guardian may be present during the interview of the child by the police.”

The draft also suggested the sanitation facilities and hygiene, nutrition and diet scale, medical care, education, mental health, vocational training, recreation facilities to the apprehended children.