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'Object Of JJ Act Defeated': Karnataka High Court Removes Unqualified Persons Appointed To State Selection Committee At Minister's Behest

Mustafa Plumber
30 Sep 2021 10:07 AM GMT
Object Of JJ Act Defeated: Karnataka High Court Removes Unqualified Persons Appointed To State Selection Committee At Ministers Behest
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The Karnataka High Court recently set aside the appointment of two members of the Karnataka State Selection Committee on the grounds that they did not have the requisite qualification prescribed under the Juvenile Justice(Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 and the Rules made thereunder. The said committee is constituted for the selection of Juvenile Justice Selection...

The Karnataka High Court recently set aside the appointment of two members of the Karnataka State Selection Committee on the grounds that they did not have the requisite qualification prescribed under the Juvenile Justice(Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 and the Rules made thereunder.

The said committee is constituted for the selection of Juvenile Justice Selection Committee Members.

A division bench of Acting Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum while allowing the petition filed by one Sudha Katwa, said,

"The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 was enacted to provide for the protection of children in institutions, inadequate facilities, quality of care and rehabilitation measures in Homes, high pendency of cases, delays in adoption due to faulty and incomplete processing, lack of clarity regarding roles, responsibilities and accountability of institutions and, inadequate provisions to counter offences against children such as corporal punishment, sale of children for adoption purposes, which had cropped up in the recent times."

It added, 

"The noble object of the Act stands defeated by appointing the persons who are unconnected with the subject at all merely because the Hon'ble Minister wants them to be appointed. The entire object of the Act stands defeated on account of the action of the State Government and therefore, the State Government shall appoint only experts in the subject, keeping in view the statutory provisions contained under the Act."

The petitioner had questioned the appointment of Latha Jagadishnarayan and S M Badaskar as members of the selection committee. Advocate S Umpathi appearing for the petitioner had relied upon Rule 87, which pertains to the selection committee and its composition.

The court went through the bio-data and the application forms submitted by the two respondents and perused the original file, submitted to the court by the state government. Accordingly, it noted, "The applications of 3rd and 4th respondents were scrutinized by the department and the department has put up a note that 3rd and 4th respondents do not have the requisite qualifications as prescribed under Rule 87 of the Rules, 2016 and therefore, their candidature were to be rejected."

Further, it opined, "In spite of the fact that they were not eligible, the Minister of the Department unilaterally recommended their appointment and the subsequent order sheet recommending the appointment of 3rd and 4th respondents has not been signed by the Principal Secretary of the Department and it is only unilaterally by the Minister meaning thereby that in spite of the fact that 3rd and 4th respondents were not holding requisite qualification they were held ineligible, and only because the Minister wanted them to be appointed, they have been appointed under the orders of the Minister."

It concluded by saying,

"In the light of the aforesaid as the process of selecting members of the Selection Committee is contrary to the statutory provisions as contained under the provisions of the Act, 2015 read with relevant Rules framed thereunder, the same deserves to be set aside and accordingly, set aside. The State Government shall be free to appoint persons having prescribed qualification as per the Act of 2015."

Case Title: Sudha Katwa v. State Of Karnataka

Case No: WP 14848/2020

Date of order: September 3, 20201.

Appearance: Advocate S Umapathi for petitioner; Advocate Kiran Kumar for R1,2; Advocate Lakshmi Narayan N Hegde for R3; Advocate Ganapathi Bhat Vajralli for R4

Click Here To Read/ Download Order


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