The Supreme Court Tuesday asked the four-member juvenile justice committee of Jammu and Kashmir High Court to examine afresh allegations of detention of minors by security forces in the state after the abrogation of provisions of Article 370. The top court asked the JJC to submit a fresh report of the detentions of minors.
A three-judge bench headed by N V Ramana was hearing a petition filed by child rights activist Enakshi Ganguly who claimed that the children in Jammu and Kashmir have been illegally detained under the Public Safety Act (PSA) in the wake of the abrogation of Article 370.
"What we feel is the report of Juvenile Justice Committee does not indicate application of mind with respect to facts stated in the affidavit," the court said.
Senior Counsel Huzefa Ahmadi was making submissions on behalf of the petitioner. Ahmadi, citing the report of Juvenile Justice Committee, told the apex court that the Committee did not undertake the exercise as ordered by Supreme Court.
The bench agreed with Ahmadi and said there was a need for examining the allegations afresh as the earlier reports of the committee were not in accordance with the apex court order due to time constraints.
A bench headed by Justice N V Ramana asked the committee to place its report as expeditiously as possible and posted the hearing for December 3.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had initially sought the permission of the bench to adjourn the hearing and make his submissions next week "since he had a matter in another court" to tend to.
To which Justice BR Gavai said that "important matters" cannot be delayed like this.
The top court said that the matter cannot be delayed until next week. It asked Mehta to instruct junior counsel to take notes on Tuesday and respond on November 6.
The Centre on August 5 abrogated Article 370 of the Indian Constitution in accordance to which the state of Jammu and Kashmir has now been bifurcated into the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
Earlier this month, the Juvenile Justice Committee had submitted a report to the apex court claiming that "144 juveniles, including children aged nine and 11, were arrested since August 5 after the abrogation of Article 370".
The committee, however, submitted that no child is under illegal detention in the valley.
(With inputs from agencies)