The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Juvenile Justice Committee of Jammu and Kashmir High Court to file a fresh report on allegations that minors were being detained illegally by security forces in the union territory.
The three-judge bench, headed by Justice NV Ramana and comprising R Subhash Reddy and BR Gavai, were hearing a plea filed by child rights activists Enakshi Ganguly and Shanta Sinha. The petitioners sought directions from the court to produce before the high court children who were illegally detained, and to provide compensation to their families.
The petitioners argued that the report filed merely reflects what the additional director general of police had to say and does not address the issues stated in the petitions.
The bench accepted Ganguly's submissions that the juvenile justice panel did not elaborately go into allegations of preventive detention of children, and hence it is better to send the issue back to the committee to examine each individual case of detention.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the J&K government, said the matter may be sent back to the juvenile justice panel while SC disposes of Ganguly's petition. "The situation is much better today," Mehta said.
The petitioners opposed the disposal on the grounds that other benches were hearing petitions on J&K issues despite the HC functioning, so this case should also be heard in SC as it breaches fundamental rights of minors.
The case will be next heard on 3 December.
The Juvenile Justice Committee had in October first week submitted a 52-page report comprising original reports from Director General of Police of Srinagar, Divisional Commissioner of Kashmir and Mission Director of Jammu and Kashmir Child protection Society enumerating the particulars of minors arrested, detained, sent to juvenile homes and released.
The Director General of Police had submitted a detailed report enlisting the particulars of 144 children arrested from various places in J&K.