HC issues directions for streamlining juvenile justice delivery system

Plans include rehabilitation card, review

In its sustained effort to streamline the functioning of juvenile justice delivery system, the Delhi High Court has passed a series of directions, including a quarterly review of the progress of the Individual Care Plan (ICP) and rehabilitation card of children in conflict with law by the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB).

A Bench of Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani also ordered the Delhi Government to furnish the number of children/juveniles who were transferred from adult jails to child care institutions in the last five years with details of the numbers found in Tihar, Rohini and Mandoli jails along with the offences they were charged with. The Bench said it was required to “better understand the systemic flaws that lead to delinquent children/juveniles ending up in adult jails”.

Plans in place

It noted that the final dispositional order in respect of a child found to have been in conflict with law must contain an ICP drawn up by the Probation Officer or Child Welfare Officer for a child’s rehabilitation. After the enquiry proceedings conclude, if a child is remanded in an observation home, the rehabilitative process is required to be conducted within such place during the period of the child’s stay, it added.

The Rehabilitation-cum-Placement Officer is required to draw up a rehabilitation card and the JJB is to monitor the progress of the child based on the ICP and the card, the High Court said.

“Pursuant to drawing up an ICP and a rehabilitation card, every JJB seized of an enquiry shall call for the ICP and the rehabilitation card from the Superintendent of the home and review the progress of the child as reflected in such card on a quarterly basis, that is once every three months,” the High Court ordered.

Post-release plan

Additionally, the court ordered that all JJBs must ensure post-release plan, which is required to be drawn up two months before a child is due to leave a child care institution.

The court was informed that since Delhi has 11 judicial districts, 11 District Child Protection Officers (DCPOs) are required to be appointed by the State. However, currently only four DCPOs have been appointed. The court directed the Delhi Government to appoint seven additional DCPOs within six weeks.

The court also directed the Delhi Government to furnish a compilation of all such institutions, whether Governmental or non-Governmental, that may be enlisted to provide informal education and vocational training to delinquent children who are housed in child care institutions.

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