Juvenile Injustice

Indian occupied Kashmir lags behind other states of Indian with regards to the Juvenile Justice System. The Juvenile Justice System (JJA) enforced in IOK has been found hackneyed and worst owing to the insensitivity of India as well as the puppet regime of IOK. In contravention to international as well as Indian law, the juveniles in Indian occupied Kashmir are either tried under normal court procedures or under draconian Public Safety Act (PSA). There is only one juvenile detention facility in the state which is not up to the national standards lagging in proper amenities as stipulated in the international as well as Indian law.
In November 2011, Asian Centre for Human Rights released a report titled “Juvenile Justice of Jammu and Kashmir: Unequal before the Law and Denied Justice in Custody”. The report is an insightful study into the Juvenile Justice System prevailing in IOK and calls for immediate actions to be taken to reform the old and hackneyed system. The report highlights following aspects regarding the shortcomings of the Juvenile Justice System in Jammu and Kashmir state:-
• The state government illegally detains minors in preventive custody under Public Safety Act (PSA), which is in contravention to the ruling given by the Supreme Court of India.
• Large numbers of minors who have attained adulthood during the detention are charged as adults in violation to the international.
• There is no Juvenile Justice Board and Child Welfare Committee existent in IOK and minors are being tried in normal courts.
• No separate Juvenile Home for girls exists in the state. The girls are placed in police lock ups and the practice increases the chances of their exploitation multi-fold.
• Minors are exposed to high risk of abuse as they are detained with adult criminals during pre-trial detention periods.
• The practice of assessing age of minors through school certificates is not being followed in the state.
• Juvenile detainees are denied basic facilities like provision of drinking water, electricity, education and other related amenities at the only existing detention facility for the juveniles.