Inform us about video-conferencing in observation homes, JJBs,SC tells Centre

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New Delhi, Oct 22 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Centre to inform it about the number of observation homes for housing juveniles and also those having video-conferencing facility across the country.

A bench of Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta said, “All observation homes and Juvenile Justice Boards (JJBs) should have video conferencing facility.”

The court sought state-wise details of the video conferencing facilities in the observation homes and the JJB as it noted that children from observation homes have to travel long distances where JJBs are located.

The court gave Centre four weeks to come back with the details.

Noting that in Odisha there were two observation homes and children have to travel 5 to 6 hours to be produced before the JJB, the court said the same situation prevailed in Madhya Pradesh. “You can’t take a child to 200 km. Just have video conferencing facilities in observation homes and JJBs”, the court said.

The hearing is rooted in the report of the Justice A.K. Goel (since retired) and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit on the appalling conditions in the observation homes and district jail in Haryana’s Faridabad district bordering Delhi.

On the overcrowding of prison, the court recalled that “bail is a rule and jail an exception” and said that this should apply in all the cases of petty offences or where poor people are involved.

–IANS

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