The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Friday ordered the state government to appoint Judicial Magistrates (First Class), a requirement to set up Juvenile Justice Board in each district of the State.
According to the judgement by a division bench headed by Justice Mohammad Yaqoob Mir and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey, “22 Juvenile Justice Boards are required to be set up for 22 districts of the State of Jammu & Kashmir.
While noticing that, in absence of 22 Juvenile Justice Boards to be set up under Section 4(1) of the Jammu & Kashmir Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2013, the Chief Judicial Magistrates, having jurisdiction in their respective areas, are exercising the powers and performing the functions of the Boards till the formal constitution of the aforesaid Juvenile Justice Boards, this Court, in terms of order passed on 11th of August, 2017, therefore, observed that 22 Additional posts of Judicial Magistrates (FirstClass) would have to be created, being a requirement of the Act of 2013 and the Rules of 2014.”
The judgement further read, “Consequently, the Law Department was directed to process the requirement of 22 posts of Judicial Magistrates (FirstClass) on priority basis, without awaiting any further communication from the Registrar General of this Court.”
Pertinently, state counsel brought to the notice of the Court that the Government has accorded sanction for the creation of eight posts of Principal Magistrates (Civil Judge Junior Division/ Munsiff) for eight Juvenile Justice Boards to be constituted at Anantnag, Baramulla, Srinagar, Jammu, Doda, Rajouri, Kargil and Leh in the Phase-I.
The court appreciated the selection-cum-oversight Committee in implementing the Juvenile Justice Act and the rules on the ground and noted that the Committee not only completed the selection process for Juvenile Justice Boards and Child Welfare Committees in record time but also strived to make the institutions under the Act functional.