SC gives credit to Bhim Singh for compelling J&K to implement Juvenile Act

Mr. Justice R.M. Lodha who was presiding over the Supreme Court Bench congratulated Prof. Bhim Singh for his contribution for having created a situation for the Govt. of J&K to enact much awaited Juvenile Act in J&K. Justice Lodha observed it were because of you (Bhim Singh) that we issued notice to the State of J&K on the illegal detention of 12-year-old boy Faizan who was arrested on 25th August, 2012 by the local police of Safakadal Police Station, Srinagar. The court further observed that your (Bhim Singh) interest was that Juvenile Law is implemented in J&K and Juvenile Courts and Boards are constituted.

Division Bench comprising of JJ R.M. Lodha and Mr. Shiva Kirti Singh were hearing a writ petition against the illegal and draconian detention of 12-year-old Faizan Bashir who was arrested by Srinagar Police on 25th and kept in Police Station Safakadal till 27th August. Since there was no Juvenile Court, Faizan was released on bail on 28th August, 2012 by the District & Sessions Judge, Srinagar. Writ petition was filed on 26th/27th August, 2012 in the Supreme Court challenging illegal, unconstitutional and improper arrest of Faizan. The petition has challenged the detention stating that, “The petition was kept in police station without providing any bedding or food on the night of 25th August, 2012. He was kept inside a police lock up which is meant for the habitual criminal inside Safakadal Police Station for the whole day of 26th August, 2012 and whole night. He was produced before Magistrate in Srinagar on 27th August, 2012 and dispatched to another police lock-up in Nishat.”

The petition further stated that J&K Govt. has been functioning without any rule of law and in defiance of the provisions of the Constitution of India. The Govt. of J&K has been very unjust and hostile to the students as more than 120 school going children were shot dead by the police under the direction of State Govt.     

Prof. Bhim Singh emphasized that minors and juveniles are detained illegally as the Govt. in its affidavit filed today before the Supreme Court has admitted that 516 facing prosecution, 20 juveniles have been convicted whereas 12 juveniles are kept under illegal detention. Prof. Bhim Singh said that the Govt. has admitted that juveniles are kept under detention which makes the mockery of the rule of law and needs urgent deterrent action against the State.

The Govt. of J&K in its affidavit also filed a notification before the court confessing that the Governor of J&K on 22.07.2013 had issued an SRO for the implementation of the J&K Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Act, 2013. The said Act was enacted by the Legislative Assembly in April, 2013. This too was done one year after the detention of Faizan and notice by the Supreme Court to the Govt. of J&K.

The Supreme Court has also made very important observation that the petitioner may move appropriate court for the damages/compensation for his illegal and unconstitutional arrest and detention by the police.  Prof. Bhim Singh expressed gratitude to the Supreme Court of India which has with its effective intervention forced the Govt. of J&K to make Juvenile Law at par with the Union Law to ensure justice and equity to the children of J&K. He said that this was go down in the history of J&K as a great victory of the juveniles.        

Prof. Bhim Singh was assisted by Mr. Satish Vig, Mr. S.K. Bandopadhyay and B.S. Billowria, Advocates.