Shimla: A New Delhi based NGO, Asian Centre for Human Right (ACHR), has criticised the Himachal Pradesh government for "huge pendency of cases before the Juvenile Justice Boards and shortage of special homes in the state."

"The only observation-cum-special home was in Una district and it was found during the visit that there were 10 juveniles who were required to be regularly produced before the JJBs in various districts," ACHR said in its report.

"There is huge pendency of cases and the situation worsens when the chairperson of JJB is on leave and hearings are postponed further delaying the disposal of the cases," the ACHR report released here said.

"Astonishingly, the officials of the observation home are required to arrange funds from their pockets for the appearance of the juveniles before the JJBs, as the allocation of funds for travelling has been reduced from Rs 44,000 during 2010-11 to Rs 20,600 during 2011-12, for the reason known best to the government," the report pointed out.

ACHR said the pendency before the JJBs was quite high. "There were 162 cases pending before the JJB in Kangra district as of January 2012, 110 cases in Una district as of December 2011 and 89 cases in Shimla district as of November 2011".

Citing data of National Crime Records Bureau of the Ministry of Home Affairs, the rights body disclosed that the hill state has registered 159 cases of juvenile delinquency under the Indian Penal Code in 2010, 127 cases in 2009, 122 cases in 2008 and 118 cases in 2007.

In addition, under the special and local laws, nine cases were registered against juveniles in 2010, eight cases in 2009, one case in 2008 and nil in 2007, it says.

The ACHR has asked the state to establish observation and special homes in all 12 districts, conduct social auditing to monitor and evaluate the functioning of the children's homes and segregate the juveniles and children in need of care and protection.

(Agencies)

Latest News from Himachal Pradesh News desk