Posts Tagged ‘Juvenile justice’

Poor state of juvenile justice in Assam: ACHR

February 12, 2013

Guwahati: Assam has reported the highest number of cases of juvenile delinquency in the Northeast consistently for the last few years, according to a human rights watch group.


Juvenile Justice

The Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) in its latest study report claimed that the state had recorded 405 such cases in 2011.

Of the 405 cases, 402 fall under the Indian Penal Code and three under the Special & Local Laws, as per the latest report of the ACHR titled “Assam: The State of Juvenile Justice”.

“Assam’s negligence of juvenile justice is astounding. It failed to set up seven new Open Shelters during 2011 despite availability of funds under the Integrated Child Protection Scheme of the Ministry of Women and Child Development,” ACHR director Suhas Chakma said over phone from New Delhi.

He said that on account of this failure to open new centres, the Project Approval Board of the Ministry of Women and Child Development had declined to accept the request for grants for three existing Open Shelters.

The report noted that the administration of juvenile justice in Assam remained equally deplorable.

“There is an acute shortage of homes for juveniles in conflict with the law as well as children in need of care and protection,” the ACHR report said.

Assam has only three children’s homes and four observation homes run by the state to cater to 27 districts. The observation home, set up in Jorhat back in 1987, caters to 11 districts in Upper and Central Assam.


A minor patient allegedly raped by government doctor in Cachar, Assam

December 31, 2011

Barak Human Rights Protection Committee (BHRPC) received information about rape of a minor girl by Physician In-Charge of Dholai Primary Health Centre (PHC) in Cachar, Assamat his residence about 4 pm on 27th November 2011. Miss Rajia Begun, (name changed to protect identity) a minor girl, went to a pharmacy at Dholai Bazar, where Dr. Paul privately practices, for medical consultation for her ailment. Dr. Paul asked her to visit him at his residence in the evening. Accordingly she went there, accompanied by her sister-in-law (brother’s wife), where she was allegedly raped by Dr. Paul. Later, on the same day she filed a complaint at the Dholai Police Station and the case has been registered as First Information Report No. 302/11 dated 27/11/11 under Section 367 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. The victim has not yet been provided with any compensation and there is also the risk of impunity involved in the case.

BHRPC first received information about the case from a news paper report published on 28 November 2011 in local newspapers. BHRPC then contacted the victim and her relatives, and collected certified copies of the FIR and deposition of the victim under section 164 of Cr. P C, 1973 before a Judicial Magistrate (First Class) at Silchar.

According to the information thus gathered, the victim Miss Rajia Begum is a student of class X, aged about 17, daughter of Khalil Uddin and a resident of villageIslamabadunder Dholai Police Station in the district of Cachar,Assam. The alleged perpetrator is Dr. Dilip Paul of village Sadagram under Dholai Police Station. He is the In-charge physician of Dholai Public Health Centre at Dholai Bazar,Cachar,Assam.

According to Miss Rajia Begum on 27 Nov, 2011at about 4pm she along with her sister-in-law Nur Nahar (name changed to protect identity) went to a pharmacy at Dholai Bazar to consult a physician. There they met Dr. Dilip Paul who asked about her illness and advised her to go to his residence in the evening. The victim also stated that accordingly she went to the residence of Dr. Paul accompanied by Mrs. Nur Nahar (name changed to protect identity) in the evening. Dr. Paul asked her to come inside the room but did not allow her sister-in-law inside. He asked Mrs. Nur Nahar to wait outside.

 According to the deposition of the victim before the magistrate, after she entered the room, Dr. Paul closed the door and asked her to lie on the bed and close her eyes. She also stated that Dr. Paul then suddenly put his hand on her mouth and forcibly raped her against her will. She claimed that she could not cry out for help because of the tight grip of Dr. Paul’s hand on her mouth. According to her, when he finished, his grip fell loose and she pushed him aside and ran out by opening the door.

She also stated that she told her sister-in-law all about the incident. They both went home crest fallen and humiliated. Later, on the same day they went to the Dholai Police Station accompanied by her brother and lodged a complaint which was registered as mentioned above. The case has been assigned to Sub-Inspector of Police Mr. Bimal Shaikia for investigation.

It is reported that even after more than one month of the incident and registration of the FIR the police failed to arrest the accused and the officer in charge of the police station has not forwarded to a Magistrate empowered to take cognizance of the offence on a police report, a report under section 173 of the CrPC.

BHRPC thinks that the information provided in the FIR and in the deposition U/S 164 of the Cr.PC reveals prima facie case of violations of fundamental right to life and personal liberty provided under Art 21 of the Constitution of India along with an offence punishable under section 376 of the IPC.

This is also a prima facie case of violations of the universally recognized human rights as stated in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and the UN Declaration on Violence Against Women as well as the provisions of legally binding International human rights treaties, to which India is a state party, including ICCPR, UN Convention Against Torture, Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment and Punishment, The UN Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Child in need of care and protection is taken into custody by the police

March 15, 2011

Her name is Nupa Bibi and she is aged about 12 years. She lost her parents, home and relatives how she can’t tell. She was employed by a ‘doctor’ as a domestic worker. She was abused, ill-treated and frequently beaten by both ‘the lord and lady’ of the house so much so that she could no longer bear it and tried to run away even she has nowhere to go. She was found traumatised and wandering in front of the ticket counter of Capital Travels (Pvt.) Ltd. in Silchar, Assam on 28 January, 2010. What will happen to her? Another victim of trafficking? Another of the thousands mentally ill living in the streets of Indian towns and cities? Or whatever you may guess.

Barak Human Rights Protection Committee (BHRPC) expressed its deep concern over her situation in a statement and informed that at about 3.30 pm on 28 January, 2010 officials of Silchar Municipality Corporation contacted BHRPC informing that a girl child frightened very much and unable to tell her address properly was rescued. She was intending to board bus for Guwahati to go home in Kokrajhar. Members of BHRPC visited her at the Municipality Office and tried to talk to her. She was indeed frightened. The BHRPC team came to know from her that her father’s name is late Hamid Ali.  She could not tell the name of village but told that she was from Kokrajhar, a district in lower Assam, and she was working as a domestic help in the house of a doctor working in the Silchar Medical College and Hospital, Silchar for about one month. The doctor and his wife (who is also a doctor) had ill- treated her and even sometimes beaten her up, she alleged. But could not tell their names. When this conversation was going on Mr. Arun Singh, sub inspector of police with a constable came from Silchar Police Station and taken her into custody. Answering to the questions of BHRPC members he told that they would examine her by a doctor and would try to identify the person/s accused by the child of ill-treatment and cruel conduct and that is necessary for lodging an FIR. There is nothing to worry about it. When contacted, the O/C assured BHRPC that the child would not be returned to the persons accused by her and he would try to trace her home address and send her safely.

The statement said, at about 7pm another team from BHRPC visited the police station to know about arrangement for the accommodation of the child for the night and progress of the investigation. The OC informed that the child would remain in police custody and sleep in the police station. As to the FIR he informed that it was not registered. He even tried to ‘dwell on the inefficacy of laws criminalising child labour in such cases’.

BHRPC claimed that it offered psychological counselling by its experts and accommodation in a family environment for the traumatised girl with full responsibility in view of the fact that there is no such home maintained by Government any where in Barak valley for children who are in need of care and protection (CNCP) as is contemplated in the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000. But the OC rejected this offer. ‘He insisted that the law does not allow him to do so, in spite of the fact that even the Indian parliament does not trust the police with women and children as is evident from the proviso to section 160 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, which says “no male person under the age of fifteen and woman shall be required (by police) to attend at any place other than the place in which such male person or woman resides”.’

BHRPC alleged that ‘the police also acted against the law by not registering an FIR on such clumsy pretext that the victim complainant is a minor. Employment of children of less than 14 year old as domestic help is a cognisable offence under the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986 and there is no bar based on the age of the person giving information in section 154 of the CrPC, which makes registration of FIR mandatory if information about commission of a cognisable offence is given to an officer-in-charge of a police station.

There is also constitutional prohibition on employment of children aged below 14 years in any hazardous works in Article 24 and work as domestic servants is notified as hazardous. Violation of this article is violation of a fundamental right. In the instant case another important fundamental right of the victim, namely the right to education is also violated. The governments in India has constitutional obligation to provide free and compulsory education to the children below 14 under Article 21A.

It is also to be noted that India has ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. In the present case a plethora of rights enshrined in the CRC were violated, particularly the Article 15 and 32 which respectively guaranteed the right to the free and primary education and “the right of the child to be protected from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the child’s education, or to be harmful to the child’s health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development”.’

BHRPC urged the authorities to ensure: ‘1. Return of the victim to her family members with sound physical and mental health as soon as possible. And if a reasonable time is needed to trace her address BHRPC once again offers accommodation for her in a family environment for that period of time with full responsibility. 2. Provision of education and future well being of the child. 3. Registration of FIR regarding the accusation of employment of child labour, assault and battery and other ill-treatment on the victim as alleged;  prompt, thorough and impartial investigation into the case and a speedy trial.’

Police opens fire, injures minor and subsequently arrests him

January 18, 2011

Police Opens Fire, Injures Minor and Subsequently Arrests Him

A boy aged about 17 years named Saidur Rahman Barbhuiya, son of Abdul Nur Barbhuiya, Village: Dhumkar under Katigorha Police Station in Cachar, Assam was hit by a bullet in his left leg and seriously injured on 21 September, 2007.

After the death of Motahir Ali Tapadar in police custody on 21 Sept. 2007 the people of Kalian gathered in front of Kalian police petrol post and demanded the arrest of Narayan Tamuli and other police personal who were responsible for the death of Motahir Ali. To disperse the gathering police opened fire and caused 80 rounds of firing at the order of Circle Inspector. P.S Das.

At that time the victim was watching the incident from the roof top of a nearby two storied building when he was hit by a bullet and badly injured. He was admitted to the Silchar Medical College & Hospital, Silchar. After a little recovery when he was released from the hospital the police arrested him in connection with the Katigoraha P.S. Case No. 455/07, which was registered against the persons gathered in front of the PP and demanded arrest of the police personnel responsible for the death of Motahir ALi bringing false charges against them, showing utter disregard to the logic and common sense.

Saidur Rahman was watching the incident from the roof top of a two storied building when he was hit. So, he can never be a part of the gathering for the dispersal of which police opened fire. Moreover, as per the claim of the police, they fired in the air in order to frighten away the crowd. If he was a part of the crowd it is clear that all the bullets are not fired in the air as they claimed.