Synopsis: The court also demanded that the State include details on the position of existing JJBs in the State and whether there was a standard pattern of hiring to fill vacancies in JJBs.
On Wednesday, the Karnataka High Court sought information from the State Government on the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) facilities and the creation of child-friendly courts in the state.
While hearing a plea raising questions about filming child pornography in child care facilities, the court sought the State’s response.
The following questions were primarily put to the government by a division bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Vishwajith Shetty:
- Do the JJBs have establishments that are separate?
- Whether the State have child-friendly courts been established?
- In every District, how many JJBs are required?
The court also demanded that the State provide information about the position of the current JJBs in the State. In order to fill vacancies in JJBs, the Bench further sought reaction on whether there was any regular staffing pattern.
The petitioner relied on a 2018 Supreme Court judgement on the issue of child-friendly courts that included important observations on the subject.
The Bench found during the hearing on Wednesday that, the Juvenile Justice Board can not be appointed as a Criminal Magistrate’s Court.
In addition to this, under the Juvenile Justice Act (JJ Act) and Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT), which are carried out to screen for COVID-19, the Court also raised another question concerning minors.
The Court asked, “Can minors (before accessing court premises) be required to undergo Rapid Antigen Tests? ”
In response, petitioner Advocate Dalwai Venkatesh said that a minor’s privacy would not be infringed during the testing as test results can be kept confidential.
The Court stated, as the hearing came to a close, that it required JJBs to start working immediately at the same level as that of the High Court and subordinate courts.
The matter will be heard next on 10th November.