Updated: January 6, 2022 8:15:56 am
An expert committee will inquire into the effectiveness of legal aid available to children in conflict with the law and the reasons for delays in bail and release of the children.
The panel has been constituted by the Delhi Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) which has ordered a formal inquiry, and is headed by retired Justice Madan Lokur and three DCPCR members. It has been tasked with assessing the awareness of legal proceedings and of the status of their cases among children in conflict with the law or alleged to be in conflict with the law residing in observation homes, place of safety and special homes in Delhi. There are currently 250 children residing in these institutions in the city.
They have also been tasked with identifying the challenges being experienced by them in securing bail or release, where applicable. Apart from this, they also need to record the duration of the children’s stay in these institutions, the quality of legal services available, their experiences with police, and details of their social, economic and educational status.
A source said this inquiry, initiated after interactions with some children in an observation home, showed that they did not know why they had been placed there and were not acquainted with their lawyers.
The panel has been directed to submit its report in five weeks, and it is aimed to help identify the “nature” of the problem with their access to legal aid. To conduct the inquiry, the panel members have been authorised to interact with and interview the children without the presence of any staff, interact with persons in charge, officials at the institution, the legal services advocates and family members of the children.
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