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Minor Allegedly Forced To Convert Religion In Child Care Institution, Mother Challenges Provisions Of JJ Act, Seeks ₹5Cr Compensation, Delhi HC Issues Notice

Akshita Saxena
25 Feb 2022 9:03 AM GMT
Minor Allegedly Forced To Convert Religion In Child Care Institution, Mother Challenges Provisions Of JJ Act, Seeks ₹5Cr Compensation, Delhi HC Issues Notice
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The Delhi High Court on Friday issued notice on a petition challenging various provisions of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 and the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Model Rules, 2016, pertaining to power, functions and composition of Child Welfare Committees.The plea has been filed by the mother of a minor girl, alleged to be abused and...

The Delhi High Court on Friday issued notice on a petition challenging various provisions of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 and the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Model Rules, 2016, pertaining to power, functions and composition of Child Welfare Committees.

The plea has been filed by the mother of a minor girl, alleged to be abused and forced to convert her religion in a Child Care Institution, where she was remanded by the Child Welfare Committee under the JJ Act. The plea is filed through Advocate Dibyanshu Pandey.

It is alleged that provisions of the JJ Act confer arbitrary powers on the CWC, that led to violation of the fundamental rights of the Petitioner and her daughter.

The Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh has issued notice to the Central Government and other Respondents.

The plea avers that the Petitioner's minor daughter was trapped by the social workers of two NGOs. Allegedly, a false FIR of sexual abuse of the Petitioner's daughter was registered following which her daughter was produced before the Child Welfare Committee after five days, in contravention to Rule 81 (1) of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Model Rules, 2016. Thereafter, it is alleged that the child was arbitrarily sent into institutional care, where she was indoctrinated in Christianity without the Petitioner's consent and was also subjected to cruelty and exploitation for more than five months.

In this backdrop, the plea states that grant of exclusive powers on CWCs to deal with all proceedings relating to children in need of care and protection vide Section 29 (2) of the JJ Act is arbitrary. It adds,

"the scheme of reporting of cases of cruelty committed against a child inside Child Care Institution vide Rule 76 (2) (i) & Rule 76 (2) (ii) of The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Model Rules, 2016 is arbitrary as the people responsible for violation of rights are entrusted with exclusive responsibility of reporting the same and the same is blatant denial of justice to the child who is under complete control of the offenders."

It is alleged that Rule 55 (2) of the Model Rules is arbitrary as there is no way a child in need of care and protection placed under institutional care can reach the Children's court for relief on being subjected to cruelty inside the child care institution while being in institutional care.

The plea also challenges the following provisions:

-Section 27 (2) and Section 27 (4) of the JJ Act read with Rule 15 (3) of the Model Rules which pertain to composition of the CWC;

-Section 27 (9) of the JJ which confers power of Metropolitan Magistrate on CWC;

-Section 30 (i) and Section 30 (ii) & (iv) of JJ Act which related to powers of Child Welfare Committee for taking cognizance and conducting inquiries;
-Form 22 of Model Rules which collects information for preparing Social Investigation Report of Child in need of care and protection. It is alleged that the same promotes intrusive and pervasive social profiling of children.
Further, it is prayed that the Respondents be directed to pay compensation of Rs. 5 crore to the Petitioner for violation of fundamental rights of the Petitioner and her minor daughter.
Case Title: Sushila Devi v. Union of India
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