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The plea stated that certain clauses in the JJ Rules in effect authorize extraction of a confession from a child which violates Articles 14, 20, and 21 of the Indian Constitution.
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday granted more time the Centre to file its reply in a plea filed by the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) challenging the constitutional validity of certain clauses in the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Model Rules, 2016 related to the social background report and social investigation report.
A division bench of Justice Mukta Gupta and Justice Poonam A. Bamba directed Centre to file its counter affidavit and listed the matter for further hearing on July 21, 2023.
It is to be noted that the court in January had issued notice to the Centre, Ministry of Law and Justice, and Delhi Government in the plea. While issuing notice, the bench had sought a reply from the Centre, Ministry of Law and Justice, and Delhi Government in the plea within four weeks.
DCPCR had filed the petition through Advocate R.H.A. Sikander, which stated that the clauses in the JJ Rules violate Articles 14, 20, and 21 of the Indian Constitution by authorizing the extraction of a confession from a child. It also stated that the same amounts to testimonial compulsion because children are forced to testify against themselves and convict themselves.
The plea challenged the constitutional validity of Clauses 21 and 24 of Form 1 (Social Background Report) and Clauses 42 and 43 of Form 6 (Social Investigation Report for Children in Conflict with Law) of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Model Rules, 2016. DCPCR has sought directions to declare these forms as “unconstitutional” and void being ultra vires to Articles 14, 20, and 21 of the Constitution of India.
“As per Clauses 21 and 24 of Form 1 (Social Background Report) of the JJ Model Rules, 2016, the Child Welfare Police Officer is required to note the Reason for the alleged offense and the Alleged role of the child in the offense, respectively, and as per Clauses 42 and 43 of Form 6 (Social Investigation Report for Children in Conflict with Law) of the JJ Model Rules, 2016 the Probation Officer / Child Welfare Officer / Social Worker is required to note the Alleged role of the child in the offense and Reason for an alleged offense, respectively”, the plea read.
It was contended that Forms 1 and 6 of the JJ Model Rules, 2016 cannot be allowed to remain on the grounds stated in the writ petition.
“The Impugned Clauses of the Forms are violative inter alia of the Fundamental Rights of children under the Constitution of India and are liable to be struck down and declared unconstitutional on the following grounds, which are being taken without prejudice to one another”, the plea stated.
Case Title: DCPCR v. Union of India & Others
Statue: The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Model Rules, 2016; The Constitution of India
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