Pendency of cases in Juvenile Justice boards within the state of Bihar

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Author : nawaz.haque
Published on : July 30, 2012

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More than sixteen thousand juvenile cases are pending in the various Juvenile Justice Boards in the different districts of Bihar state. It is beyond dispute that the credibility of these JJBs is almost shaken. Though the number of initiatives taken in the past by the social welfare department and higher judiciary to bring down the backlog but much progress could not be achieved to clear the excess workload. Time has come for us to rethink about the solutions to reduce the pendency of cases in juvenile justice boards. As we all aware that Juvenile Justice Act, 2006 (amendment) which is the central law and made the rights of the juvenile more explicit and assertive by providing for easy bail, disposal and by ruling out stringent punishments.

 The preamble of the Act undoubtedly articulate the intent of the legislature by providing for proper care, protection and treatment by catering to their developmental needs, and by adopting a child-friendly approach in the adjudication and disposition of matters in the best interest of children and for their ultimate rehabilitation. This paper focuses the problem of pendency of cases, increase in no of cases instituted in the duration (1/01/2011- 31/03/2012) and disposal of cases during the period in the state of Bihar. Further we also explore the reasons behind these issues and attempt to sketch some solutions for Juvenile Justice Boards to cope up the backlog and continuous increasing workload.

Current situation:
In 2012 march, an application was filed under Right to Information Act, 2005 (RTI) in the High court of Patna to get the status of pendency of cases in juvenile justice boards in Bihar. The Hon’ble Patna High Court responded with the information asked. The current situation is characterized by high levels of backlog juvenile pending cases. As per the information provided by the Patna High court Patna- JJB and Bhagalpur- JJB have more cases than other JJB districts. Patna accounts for more than 14 percent cases.

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