RC. No. CWC/Krishna/_____/15 Dated 26th Mar 2015
The Project Director,
Dist Women and Child Development Agency,
As you know very well that the Child Welfare Committee is also a court for the disposal of the cases of children below 18 years which is established by the Govt. of India under Sec 29(5) of Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Act 2000, amend 2006. And this is to inform you that all the members in this committee are said to be a bench of magistrates with the powers of First Class Judicial Magistrates. Further, you know very well that, the committee has been equipped with the powers to facilitate the children in need of Care and Protection in terms of their development, care, treatment and rehabilitation under Sec 31 (2) of JJ (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2000 r/w 2006.
CWC is a court by all means under Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Act, 2000 amend 2006. As per the definition of Sec 2(1) Legal Services Authorities Act and also as per the definition of Sec 3 of Evidence Act court means a civil, criminal or revenue court and includes any tribunal or any other authority constituted under any law for the time being in force to exercise judicial or quasi judicial functions. Hence CWC is a court.
Whereas, The CWC has received a rescued minor girl through CHILDLINE 1098 VIJAYAWADA under Sec 32 (1) (iii) of JJ Act, 2000 amend 2006 requesting necessary directions for rehabilitation of the girl including temporary safe shelter, trauma counseling along with basic needs till finding her exact whereabouts. After hearing the statement of girl, the CWC determined to place the girl in Navajeevan Bala Bhavan one of the Fit Institution in Vijayawada as the case seems more time to investigate and finding realities of the girl and her background. The case shall be handled very meticulous as it involved cross boarder issue of two countries. As per girl’s statement she belong to KOLKATA at first but after inquiring with the relevant agency in KOLKATA through CHILDLINE it is come to know that she belong to Bangladesh as she stated – (attached cases details by CHILDLINE herewith).
Hence, the CWC consciously referred the girl to said home for temporary shelter in the BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD which is First and Foremost Fundamental principle of Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Act, 2000 amend 2006.
Doesn’t it require enough time to deal such sensitive cases to any specified competent authority? In case, no departmental officials having such right to point out CWC with regard to time taken in providing effective rehabilitation and re-integration of Children in need of care and protection services.
The CWC is taking initiatives through approaching Rights Jessore organization in Bangladesh and few local NGOs at KOLKATA to accelerate the process of repatriation of the girl. It is further informed to the Dept of Juvenile Welfare, Correctional Services and Welfare of Street Children, Govt of Andhra Pradesh to take suitable measures from the departmental side for speedy disposal of the case.
In fact, it is the due responsibility of Dist Child Protection Unit established under Rule 81 of JJ Act Model rules 2007 (but working under your control. The DCPU’s primary responsibility is to attend CWC sittings and to assist in proper implementation of JJ Act in the district) of JJ Act, 2000 amend 2006 to make convergence with all concerned line departments and other relevant agencies for facilitating effective rehabilitation and re-integration of Children in need of care and protection services. the DCPU shall network and coordinate with all government departments to build inter-sectoral linkages on child protection issues, including Departments of Health, Education, Social Welfare, Urban Basic Services, Backward Classes & Minorities, Youth Services, Police, Judiciary, Labour, State AIDS Control Society, and among others as per Rule 81(2) (i) and also as per Rule 81 (1) (j) they have to network and coordinate with civil society organizations working under the JJ Act, 2000 amend 2006; in turn you are pointing out CWC about the status of victim girl and mis-representing and mis-guiding other officials also in this regard. Now, it is your responsibility what measures did DCPU working under your exclusive control in the district has taken in this particular case.
CWC is really very pity of you to say that, being a District level head of the concerned department, you have mis-guided district level higher authorities, child protection mechanisms as well as media too by degrading the CWC as a court. The CWC doesn’t know of your special interest for taking such privilege in spite of your precious and responsible position being a head of district for Women & CHILD Development agency. CWC strongly believes that, you might have known about such concrete legislations/Acts pertaining to children and their protection being an official who occupied a lead position in concerned line department at district level.
Hopes you know very well that, as per Sec 31 (1) of JJ Act, 2000 amend 2006, the CWC shall have the final authority to dispose of cases for the care, protection, treatment, development and rehabilitation of the children as well as to provide for their basic needs and protection of human rights.
Because once again suggest you to please read in Sec 29(5) of JJ Act, 2000 amend 2006 specified that the committee has empowered with the Judicial powers of a Metropolitan or “Judicial” First Class Magistrate reveals the intention of the legislature that CWC shall be a court. We further suggest to please go through the SOP authorized by Govt of Andhra Pradesh in page no. 8 of chapter 2 and also page no. 11 in this regard.
If you are intended to point out the directions and decisions taken by the CWC you can appeal to First Additional Sessions Judge of the District under Sec 52 of JJ Act, 2000 amend 2006 within 30 days of issue of its directions but not to other district level heads at any aspect and under any circumstances. Anyhow, the CWC doesn’t have any need to satisfy every district level authority in every case of a victim child and it is nowhere mentioned in any Sec of concerned JJ Act, 2000 amend 2006. Mis-guiding Dist Collector, Commissioner of Police and also media is an extreme violation of JJ Act, 2000 amend 2006.
Whereas the Child Welfare Committee is empowered to exercise the powers conferred under Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974) with the Sec 54, 61, 62, 63, 66, 70, 71 and 72 as and when it is applicable in disposal of the cases of children in need of care and protection.
The CWC is hereby affirmed that, it may transfer the girl to some other fit institution if it is deemed fit in the best interest of the child under Sec 56 of JJ Act, 2000 amend 2006 that conferred the CWC with the Power to discharge and transfer a child to be discharged or transferred from one children's home to another, as the case may be, keeping in view the Best Interest of the Child.
By keeping in view of all the powers conferred under both JJ Act, 2000 amend 2006 as well as under Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974) the CWC is empowered to issue notice to the head of the departments as and when it is required while disposing the cases of children in need of care and protection services followed by the fundamental principle of JJ Act, 2000 amend 2006 which is “In the Best interest of Children”.
It is further to bring to your notice that, under Sec 54 (1) of JJ Act 2000 amend 2006 it is clearly mentioned about the Procedure in inquiries, appeals and revision proceedings.- Save as otherwise expressly provided by this Act, a competent authority while holding any inquiry under any of the provisions of this Act, shall follow such procedure as may be prescribed and subject thereto, shall follow, as far as may be, the procedure laid down in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974) for trials in summons cases. The CWC came to know that you have instructed to produce the girl before you with reference to your letter no. _______________________________ dated _____________. It is absolute violation of JJ Act, 2000 amend 2006. What is the reason and with what legislatory authority you have instructed to produce the girl before you?
Hence, the CWC is hereby directed you to attend in person directly before it within 1 week and submit your written explanation for all above queries along with mentioning your special interest for causing all this inconvenience & degrading CWC in this case, misguiding the district level higher authorities such as Dist Collector and also media.
Given under my hand with the seal of CWC dated this 26th Mar 2015.
1. To The Dist Collector and Magistrate, Krishna Dist
2. To The Commissioner of Police, VIJAYAWADA
3. To The Principal Secretary, Dept of WD&CW, Govt of AP
4. To The Commissioner, Dept of WD&CW, Govt of APTo Hon’ble Justice Sri Ramesh Ranganathan, High Court of A.P, HYDERABAD