13 Aug 2023 3:01 PM GMT
The Juvenile Justice-cum-POCSO Committee, Jharkhand High Court in association with Department of Women, Child Development and Social Security, Government of Jharkhand on Saturday organized the Jharkhand State Multi- Stakeholders Consultation on “Children in Conflict with Law (Prevention, Restorative Justice, Diversion and Alternatives to Detention)”.The Consultaion was organized ...
The Juvenile Justice-cum-POCSO Committee, Jharkhand High Court in association with Department of Women, Child Development and Social Security, Government of Jharkhand on Saturday organized the Jharkhand State Multi- Stakeholders Consultation on “Children in Conflict with Law (Prevention, Restorative Justice, Diversion and Alternatives to Detention)”.
The Consultaion was organized in collaboration with UNICEF at Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Auditorium, Judicial Academy, Jharkhand and aimed to address the challenges faced by Children in Conflict with Law (CICL) who find themselves entangled in the legal system, emphasizing preventive measures, restorative justice, diversion and alternatives to detention.
It was organized under the aegis of Child Welfare Committee, Supreme Court of India, and was graced by the presence of Judges of the High Court of Jharkhand, Shri Md. Shakir, Registrar General, Members of the High Court Registry, JHALSA, Judicial Academy, Members of the Bar, Chairperson, Jharkhand State Commission for Protection of Child Rights.
It was attended by Senior bureaucrats of the State of Jharkhand from Department of Home, Health, Education and Literacy Development, Department of Women, Child Development and Social Security, UNICEF, Child Rights Experts, Academicians and other distinguished dignitaries.
It was also attended by over 400 participants, including Judicial Officers (Special POCSO Judges, DLSA Secretaries and Principal Magistrates, JJB), D.C., D.D.C, S.P., CID Officers, Nodal Officers of Special Juvenile Police Unit, Civil Surgeons, DSWO, Chairpersons, Child Welfare Committee, Members, Juvenile Justice Board, and State Forensic Science Laboratory (SFSL), Jharkhand State Child Protection Society of Government of Jharkhand, Block Resource persons, members of UNICEF, Principals, Vice-Principals, etc. Further, law students of NUSRL and Chotanagpur Law College, Ranchi were present as volunteers.
It commenced with welcome song by children of Child Care Institutions (CCIs).
Justice Sanjaya Kumar Mishra, the Chief Justice of the Jharkhand High Court graced the event as the Chief Guest and delivered the Inaugural Address. With his profound understanding of the subject, extensive experience, and notable contributions to the welfare of juveniles in the High Courts of Orissa, Uttarakhand, and presently in Jharkhand, he shared valuable insights.
Justice Sanjaya stated that every Child in Conflict with Law (CICL) is also in some way Child in Need of Care and Protection (CNCP) and every CNCP is a potential CICL, and hence, we should look at this issue in a holistic manner.
Igniting the attention of audience, Justice asked the audience, whether each one participating in today’s Consultation have read the JJ Act and Rules completely, and emphasized that we cannot become active stakeholders unless we are truly aware of our laws.
Judge and Chairperson of the Juvenile Justice-cum-POCSO Committee, Justice Sujit Narayan Prasad, graced the event as the Guest of Honour. During his Keynote Address he highlighted the need of sensitivity towards CICL and urged all the stakeholders to come out of their comfort zone and contribute for bright future of the children, and encouraged the audience to embrace CICL with optimism rather than subjecting them to stigmatization.
Justice quoted the empowering words of Gabriela Mistral, “We are guilty of many errors and many faults, but our worst crime is abandoning the children, neglecting the fountain of life. Many of the things we need can wait. The child cannot.”
Justice Anil Kumar Choudhary, a distinguished Judge and Member of the Juvenile Justice-cum-POCSO Committee, graced the occasion as a Special Guest during the event. He emphasized that while the 2015 Act introduces several innovative concepts and provisions, its practical implementation poses challenges. As a result, a State Consultation has been convened to facilitate discussions and solutions, primarily focusing on matters concerning Children in Conflict with Law (CICL). Justice Choudhary also highlighted a crucial concern regarding the misuse of the law, specifically pointing out the issue of obtaining counterfeit school certificates for the purpose of age determination.
Kripa Nand Jha, Secretary, DWCD & Social Security delivered the Welcome Address and discussed the fundamental principles on which new JJ Act is based. He emphasized that “Koi bhi baccha shatir nahi hota” and advocated for treating children in accordance with this perspective.
Dr. Kaninika Mitra, CFO UNICEF Jharkhand, also addressed the gathering and quoted the famous words of Frederick Douglass, “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men”.
The Inaugural session concluded with Vote of Thanks proposed by Shri Sanjay Kumar, Secretary, Juvenile Justice -cum- POCSO Committee.
Children’s Art Exhibition cum Sale
The magnificent Children’s Art Exhibition cum Sale was inaugurated by Hon’ble the Chief Justice, High Court of Jharkhand. Over 675 exhibit items were prepared by the children of CCIs, including Observation Homes, Children and Shelter Homes. Their pottery, handicrafts, and popular items like rakhis, diyas and paintings were neatly displayed in the stalls allotted to district. Notably, special attention was given to ensuring that the proceeds from the sales were equitably distributed among the respective children involved.
The first Technical Session was focused on Prevention of Child Offending, Diversion, Alternatives to Detention and Non-custodial Alternatives chaired by Hon’ble Mr. Justice Rongon Mukhopadhyay, Judge and Member, Juvenile Justice -cum- POCSO Committee, High Court of Jharkhand, Ranchi.
The expert speakers of the first Technical Session were Ms. Bharati Ali, CoFounder HAQ Center for Child Rights, Delhi, Mr. Anant Asthana, Advocate, Delhi High Court and Child Rights Expert and Mr. Anurag Gupta, Director General, (C.I.D.), Jharkhand Police.
The second Technical Session was focused on Right to Fair Trial and Child Friendly Procedures, and Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility and Preliminary Assessment chaired by Justice Anil Kumar Choudhary, Judge and Member, Juvenile Justice -cum- POCSO Committee, High Court of Jharkhand, Ranchi.
The speakers of the Second Technical Session were Mr. Anant Asthana, Advocate, Delhi High Court and Child Rights Expert, Dr. Aparna Bhat, Advocate, Supreme Court of India and Dr. Nishant Goyal, Central Institute of Psychiatry.
The third Technical Session was focused on Rehabilitation and Restorative Practices chaired by Justice Anubha Rawat Choudhary, Judge and Member, Juvenile Justice -cum- POCSO Committee, High Court of Jharkhand, Ranchi.
Ms. Priti Srivastava, Child Protection Specialist, UNICEF, Ms. Rajeshwari B., Director, Jharkhand State Child Protection Society, Govt. of Jharkhand and Ms. Divya Mishra, Chief Judicial Magistrate, Bokaro & Former P.M. J.J.B. shared their thoughts and experience in the last session of the day.
During the evening's Cultural Programme, the children from Child Care Institutions (CCIs) showcased their talents through diverse performances such as songs, group dances, skits, and speeches, all filled with tremendous enthusiasm.
The said cultural event was the brainchild of Hon’ble the Chief Justice in which over 100 children exhibited their talent before the august gathering of high dignitaries were extremely elated by the sheer encouragement and opportunity afforded to them.
Thereafter, the children were felicitated by the Judges and their spouses offered their blessings and presented momentos, school bags, stationery, and coloring kits as tokens of appreciation.
The Programme was a huge success for the High Court as well as the State of Jharkhand, which paved the way for execution of ideas and proposals discussed in deliberations by the stakeholders.
Reflecting the commitment of the Indian Constitution to protect the rights of every citizen, especially its children, the programme focussed on the children and how they are given opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity and that childhood and youth are protected against exploitation and against moral and material abandonment.
The Consultation Programme was live telecasted on Youtube channel of Judicial Academy Jharkhand at the same time due care was taken to protect the name and identity of children. No live streaming was done when they performed.