With a deluge of complaints on conditions in juvenile homes landing on its doorstep,the Supreme Court has decided to directly monitor the homes meant for rehabilitation and reformation of minor delinquents across the country.
The court has set up a committee under Justice Madan B Lokur to closely supervise the conditions of juvenile homes,make surprise visits and propose correctional measures.
According to sources,Chief Justice P Sathasivam wrote to all high courts in the last week of September to tell them about the panel,and ask them to nominate a senior high court judge to be part of it.
The HC judge will in turn get judges of sessions and magisterial courts to examine the conditions of juvenile homes in the state and adduce reports. After the information is collated,a report would be sent to the apex court periodically,following which the court will consider remedial measures.
Sources said the CJI decided to form the panel following several complaints about the state of the juvenile homes,and recent reports about juveniles escaping. Last week,33 inmates escaped from a juvenile home in Delhi after rioting on the premises.
Advocate Anant K Asthana,who works for the proper implementation of the Juvenile Justice (Protection and Care) Act,described the development as historic.
It is a landmark step to make certain the provisions of the Act are duly followed and that real justice is delivered, Asthana said.
The National Crime Records Bureau of India listed 31,973 crimes by juveniles in 2012,compared to 27,541 in 2002. In Delhi alone,1,171 cases were registered against juveniles during the past year. Bihar and Chhattisgarh saw almost double that,and Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra over four times the Delhi number.