New Delhi: The Supreme Court Friday asked the Jammu and Kashmir High Court’s Juvenile Justice Committee to a file resport on a petition challenging the illegal detention of children in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) since August 5, when the Centre abrogated Article 370 that granted special status to the erstwhile state.
A bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, has sought, within one week, a report in the matter. “As the issues highlighted pertain to alleged detention of children, we direct the Juvenile Justice Committee of the High Court of Jammu & Kashmir to undertake an exercise with regard to the facts stated in the writ petition and revert to us within a week from today,” the court said.
The petition has been filed by child right activists – Enakshi Ganguly and Professor Shanta Sinha – and the Chief Justice observed that it raises crucial questions pertaining to the detention of children in J&K. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the court that one case of detention of a person, mentioned in the petition, had been referred to the Juvenile Justice Committee after he was found to be minor.
CJI Gogoi said it was not the question of an individual, but a larger issue which needed to be addressed. The bench also said the claim of the petitioners’ counsel that they were facing extreme difficulties in accessing the Jammu and Kashmir High Court as the Valley remained in lockdown was not supported by the report filed by the Chief Justice of the High Court in this regard.
However, the bench said that at this stage, they do not consider it appropriate to offer any comments on the said report. Meanwhile, the top court asked the Jammu and Kashmir administration to file reply on a Malaysia-based NRI businessman’s wife plea challenging the detention of her husband.
Asifa Mubeen, wife of Mubeen Ahmad Shah, has filed a plea seeking quashing of the August 7 order of detention along with the grounds of detention under section 8(1)(a) of the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978 and said that her husband, who is currently lodged at Agra Central jail has been “wrongfully deprived” of his liberty.
Representing Jammu and Kashmir, Solicitor General Mehta told the court that the brother of Shah has approached the Jammu and Kashmir High Court in the matter, which was countered by Shah’s wife saying that Shah’s brother has not approached the high court. She said that she has disclosed in the petition about a matter pending in the high court which has filed by someone else.