DMs, lawyers not complying with norms on juveniles: HC

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi April 23, 2014 Last Updated at 21:57 IST

Delhi High Court today observed that its directions to eliminate incarceration of minors into jails was not being complied by district magistrates and lawyers and called for a check and balance system. 

A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Pradeep Nandrajog made the observation while hearing a plea alleging that the High Court's directions regarding elimination of incarceration of children in jail are not being complied with. 

"Unfortunately, everything has not been complied. Who will ensure compliance? District Magistrates do nothing in Delhi other than making money," the bench said, adding that lawyers (of juveniles) who are aware of their client's age are using them as "milking cows" instead of getting their cases transfered to the juvenile justice board. 

"What we need is a check and balance system," the court said. 

During the hearing, the court was informed that since the High Court's May 11, 2012, judgement laying down guidelines to be followed to prevent incarceration of minors in jail, around 200 juveniles have been moved out of Tihar and Rohini jails here. 

The submission was made by the Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA), which also said that it has appointed a Nodal Officer to interact with alleged offender, of 18 to 21 years, to ascertain the relevant facts for determination of their age. 

Meanwhile, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) in a report submitted to the DSLSA has said that it has identified 58 "suspected juveniles" when its team visited Tihar in March this year. 

In its verdict, the High Court had laid down guidelines to be followed by the police, subordinate judiciary, lawyers, DSLSA, NCPCR, Juvenile Justice Boards and other authorities to ensure that juveniles are treated as adults during remand stage.