At a time when the whole world is busy celebrating World Child Rights Day on 20th November, a large number of children residing in different observation homes across the State are eagerly waiting to know about their future. Juvenile Justice Boards (JJBs) are yet to come to logical conclusion.
Shamim (name changed), a 20-year-old while speaking to ENe shared, ‘I was only 15 when I was apprehended on the charges of being involved in the killing of a youth in Golaghat district of Assam.’ He further stated that now he is no longer a juvenile yet his fate has still not been decided by the board.
As per the report revealed by State Child Protection Society (SCPS), a total of 1933 cases are pending before the JJBs which are located across the 27 districts of the State. ‘Nagaon JJB has the highest numbers of cases pending in the state with 258 followed by Kamrup (metro and rural) and Dhubri with 193 and 176 respectively,’ said the report.
‘Shockingly, among the pending cases, 15 cases have been registered only from Guwahati. Nine (9) cases have been pending for more than 10 years now,’ the report further asserted, adding, ‘ In addition, more than 20 cases are languishing in the JJBs for five to 10 years, and over 80 awaiting disposal for five years.’
Talking to ENe, an official of SCPS said, ‘Since the inception of JJBs from the year 2009, there has always been a dearth of information available in the public domain about the nature of juvenile offences, average number of children handled by the JJBs, nature of pending cases and many other important information pertaining to restorative justice for the children, as result of which till date a large number of cases are pending in JJBs across the State.’