Srinagar: Supreme Court Judge, Justice S. Ravindra Bhat Saturday inaugurated the Fourth Round Table Conference on ‘Implementation of Juvenile System’ in the Union Territories of J&K & Ladakh here at SKICC.
The conference was organized by Juvenile Justice Committee, Supreme Court of India, Juvenile Justice Committee High Court of J&K and Ladakh in collaboration with Government of Jammu & Kashmir and supported by UNICEF.
Chief Justice High Court of J&K and Ladakh, Justice Pankaj Mithal; Chairman, Juvenile Justice Committee High Court of J&K and Ladakh, Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey, Justice Tashi Rabastan, judges of High Court of J&k and Ladakh, Director General of Police J&K, Dilbagh Singh; Special DG Crime J&K, AK Choudhary; Secretary Social Welfare, Sheetal Nanda, Secretary Law & Parliamentary Affairs, Achal Sehti; UNICEF India Representative Yasmin Haque; Member Secretary Juvenile Justice Committee, Abdul Rashid Malik, large number of judicial officers of subordinate courts, members of Juvenile Justice Boards, member of District Child Welfare Committees, members of NGOs, social organizations and several other stakeholders participated in the conference both physically and virtually.
While delivering his inaugural address at the conference, Justice S. Ravindra Bhat expressed his gratitude to the JJ Committee J&K and Ladakh for organizing the conference and said that there is need for greater deliberations and discussions over the issues of juveniles and the children who are in conflict with the law.
He outlined that the event is a welcome and ingenious step where all the stakeholders are sitting together to deliberate upon the work already done and what more needed to be done for the protection of children.
He emphasized that all the 22 JJ Boards should be made functional in all 22 district of UTs of J&K and Ladakh for strengthening JJ system.
He commended the JJ Committee of J&K and Ladakh and said lot of things have been done and many gains and improvements are visible while more concerted efforts are needed to help us to improve by organizing such round table conferences.
He added that manpower in JJ Boards make delivery and implementation easy as we are investing in future of the country so that children become participatory citizens.
Chief Justice High Court of J&K and Ladakh, Justice Pankaj Mithal while delivering his keynote address during the Roundtable Conference said that the aim of the conference was to review the JJ system and to review the pledge to work for the best interest of children of J&K and Ladhak.
Justice Mithal delved into the journey of Juvenile Justice system and laws in the world and in particular to India and said system in J&K and Ladakh is gaining pace and have arrived at satisfying results, are implementing JJ Act in letter and spirit after applicability of central JJ Act to UTs.
He said that due to efforts of JJC of Supreme court of India and JJC of J&K and Ladakh, J&K and Ladhak is not lagging behind with the rest of the country, but a lot is required to do more by creating robust mechanism by making fully functional of commissions, funds and boards in J&K and Ladhak.
In his welcome address, Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey gave an overview of the conference and said that JJ Committee of Supreme Court has as guiding block and enriched our resolve to work for the betterment of children in conflict with law.
He said as children constitute half the population of our country and they are an asset for our nation’s future however they are not yet fully aware of their rights which leads to their exploitation.
He highlighted the role of parents, society, teachers, doctors, law enforcement agencies and others in creating awareness & knowledge about their rights.
While speaking on the occasion, Chief Secretary J&K, Dr AK Mehta said the conference is a welcome opportunity where all the stakeholders can deliberate upon which could be relevant for the JJ System. He said J&K government has resources available to strengthen the JJ system in J&K.
While speaking on the occasion, representative India UNICEF, Yasmin Ali Haque commended Supreme Court of India and High Courts of the country for playing proactive role for implementing JJ Act. She also appreciated J&K for its implementation of JJ System for achieving several milestones from past many years and said said it was not possible without the active support of all stakeholders where a child is protected, cared and provided justice.
On the occasion, Justice S Rajindra Bhat also released the report of fourth edition on implementation of Juvenile Justice System in J&K and Ladakh.
During post inaugural sessions, presentations were delivered by key note speakers on progress made in implementation of the Act in light of recommendations and State Action Plan of 2019 Round Table Conference.
Besides, presentations were given on impact of COVID-19 on children and initiatives taken for care and protection of child; initiatives taken by police for child protection in the backdrop of 2019 action plan; update of child rights legislations including Acts, Ordinances and Rules.
The conference held discussions, deliberations and question and answer sessions where panellists and participants talked about the issues and way forward for strengthening of the Juvenile Justice System and key features of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children Act 2015) was also discussed in detail.
The working sessions were chaired by Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey and Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur while the valedictory session was chaired by Justice Rajnesh Oswal.
While presenting vote of thanks at the inaugural session, member secretary JJC J&K and Ladakh said that due to the serious efforts of JJC of Supreme Court has become reality in UTs of J&K and Ladakh.
He said the recommendations of the conference will help to set priorities for the Government, civil society and other stakeholders.