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Kashmir Juvenile Justice Law: Governor attempting to fiddle with JK's exclusive character

Published by Kashmir News Trust on December 7, 2018, 9:43 am

Muzamil Jaleel

SRINAGAR: Triggering a fresh controversy, J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik is likely to bring in a new juvenile justice law after repealing the existing Act which was introduced in 2013 and implemented last year. The new law, for the first time, has a provision on adoption, which is seen as a “breach in J&K’s Permanent Resident Act”, reported Indian Express.

The Jammu and Kashmir Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill, 2018, that has been finalised by the Governor’s administration, will be placed before the State Administrative Council (SAC).

Justice (retd) Hasnain Masoodi, chairman of the state government’s selection-cum-oversight committee — an apex body for monitoring and evaluation of the Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) — said his committee was still in the process of conducting public deliberations with various stakeholders.

“We have already recommended that this (law) should be restricted to state subjects.

This should not offend state subject law. There are two concerns. It should not erode or eclipse personal law. Our second concern is that it is likely to offend state subject law and change the demography… We recommended that it should be made subject to state subject law so all adoptions from the state should be of state subject and whosoever adopts should do so from state subject only,” he said.

Justice Masoodi said that “as a student of the Constitution, I think the Governor does not have competence to give concurrence (to this Bill) and issue an ordinance”.

“Maybe they are in a rush to do it. They (Governor’s administration) say it is in our powers, we can go for an ordinance, we can follow that route,” he said.

“We asked them to put it in public domain so that there are deliberations on it. Then we organised a round-table conference in Srinagar. We invited academics, child rights activists and others. We were planning a similar conference in Jammu,” he said.