Haryana State Commission for Protection of Child Rights has recommended to reduce the number of children undergoing inquiry/ reformative sentencing and are currently lodged in various observation homes, special homes and places of safety in state.
“Such children may be released on leave of absence under Section 98(1) of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015. Considering the nature of situation, it is requested that special leave of absence be granted for a period of 14-28 days as deemed fit,” the HSPCR has recommended.
The section 98(1) of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 says “committee or the Board, as the case may be, may permit leave of absence to any child, to allow him, on special occasions like examination, marriage of relatives, death of kith or kin or accident or serious illness of parent or any emergency of like nature, under supervision, for a period generally not exceeding seven days in one instance, excluding the time taken in journey”.
HSCPCR chairperson Jyoti Bainda in a letter to Justice Jaswant Singh, chairman, Juvenile Justice Monitoring Committee, Punjab and Haryana High Court, cited the 21-day lockdown period and recommended that “children be released on bail as per provisions of Section 12 of the Act”.
The recommendations include “immediate sanitization of all the special homes and restricting the entry of outside staff members and supply of masks/ sanitizers for children and staff”. HSCPCR also recommended that “children should not be made to travel for production before the Juvenile Justice Boards and sitting be held by video conferencing or through the staff member concerned”.
It added, “Proper screening of any new admission of children sent to the homes should be done and a mandatory segregation of children who are new admissions should be ensured”.
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