The Kerala High Court on Monday progressed on its suo motu endeavour towards containing the contagion of COVID-19 in children protection homes.
The division bench comprising of Justice A.K. Jayasankaran Nambiar & Justice Shaji P. Chaly was acting in pursuance of the detailed directions issued by the Supreme Court on April 3 to the Child Welfare Committees, Juvenile Justice Boards and Children Courts, Child Care Institutions (CCI) and the state governments to prevent the spread of Corona virus among children.
It was on the basis of the said directives, the Kerala High Court has impleaded the Special Secretary, Social Justice Department, Government of Kerala, Secretariat, Thiruvananthapuram, and the Director, Women and Child Development Department, Government of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram, "to monitor the matter and ensure protection of the children in the Children Homes as is directed by the Apex Court, especially to the Juvenile Justice Committee of the High Courts"
"The order of the Supreme Court is self explanatory", remarked the bench, further noted that the Supreme Court has also directed the Juvenile Justice High Court Committee to monitor the steps taken by the State Government in regard to the directives issued by the Apex Court, periodically and at least once a week.
Accordingly, it posted the matter to April 15, ordering "the additional respondents" to make available the first of its report, enumerating the details, and the steps taken in accordance with the directives issued by the Apex Court.
"There are children who need care and attention and are kept in or children in conflict with law who are kept in various types of homes. There are also children who are kept in foster and kinship care. In these circumstances, it was felt that the interest of these children should be looked into," the Apex Court said while taking cognisance on the matter.
In order to de-congest child care institutions in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, the Supreme Court also directed the Juvenile Justice Boards and Children Courts to consider releasing all children alleged to be in conflict with law on temporary bail, unless there are clear and valid reasons for the application of the proviso to Section 12, JJ Act, 2015.
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