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SC Asks Centre To Equip JJB With Video-Conferencing Facility

The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Centre to notify it on whether the Observation Homes and Juvenile Justice Boards are equipped with the video-conferencing facility.

Observation Home is an institution, where neglected and delinquent juveniles are kept for a few weeks during an inquiry or trial.

A bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta referring to the provisions of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act said: “The Act mandates that observation home should be there in every district. It is better to have a home which is properly maintained and have video conferencing facility.”

The bench also added that in the long run, it will be cheaper for the states and also comfortable for children and there will no need to take a child 200 kilometer just to attend the Juvenile Justice Board.

Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta also directed all the trial courts across the country to consider the possibility of cutting a list of witnesses, in consultation with public prosecutor and defense counsel.

It said trial courts should also consider releasing poor under-trials on personal or bail bonds of a limited amount.

Directing to consider the application of section 309 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), the bench told center to ensure that when a witness appears before the court, he or she should be examined.

The bench said that video-conferencing facility in JJBs and observation homes should be there. It contended that it would be cheaper for the states and also comfortable for the minors in a situation where a juvenile has to travel for five to six hours to be produced before the JJB.

The court passed these directions while hearing a matter related to deficiencies in jails as highlighted by two apex court judges (one of them has retired) during their visit to Faridabad jail and an observation home in June this year.

 

About Aakanksha Khajuria

The author can be contacted at aakankshakhajuria@gmail.com

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