Juvenile Justice Boards: J&K High Court seeks report from govt on amendment to SRO 117


In an order dated 23rd May 2018, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court sought a report on an amendment to the SRO 117. The SRO 117 of 2018 takes away the powers of the Chief Judicial Magistrates of 14 Juvenile Justice Boards (JJBs)- the powers being exercised under sub-section (6) of section 4 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2013. This amendment would ensure that the other magistrates of JJBs apart from the constituted 8 JJBs function properly. In the month of October, the High Court sought a clarification from the State government for the non-establishment of JJBs in the State as per the act. The Government of J&K then notified the location of 8 JJBs along with their jurisdiction. The districts being Anantnag, Baramulla, Srinagar, Jammu, Doda, Rajouri, Kargil and Leh through SRO 117 of 2018 dated March 2, 2018. The SRO 117 lists the location of these 8 boards which have been sanctioned Principal Magistrates, and lays down the area of their territorial jurisdiction in the last column. The SRO 117 states that the districts mentioned in the last have to appear before the Board mentioned in column 1 of the SRO. According to the Court, this will be a cause of great inconvenience for the SJPU and the Juvenile Welfare Officer as well as the Juvenile in Conflict with Law. Thus, the Divisional Bench clarified the 6th October 2017 Order and amendment to the SRO 11. The bench comprised of Chief Justice Aloke Aradhe and Justice M K Hanjura, clarified that, “while JJBs presided over by the designated Principal Magistrates and comprising of the members already appointed may function at the districts already identified in the SRO, i.e. Srinagar, Baramulla, Anantnag, Leh, Kargil, Doda, Jammu and Poonch, with the territorial jurisdiction restricted to their respective districts, the Chief Judicial Magistrates in rest of the districts, i.e. Kupwara, Bandipora, Ganderbal,Budgam, Pulwama, Shopian, Kulgam, Ramban, Kishtwar, Udhampur,Reasi, Rajouri, Kathua and Samba, shall preside over as Principal Magistrates over the Juvenile Justice Boards in these districts till the posts of Principal Magistrates are sanctioned.”