In order to monitor the implementation and compliance of various directions passed by Supreme Court of India in a suo moto writ petition No. 04 of 2020 titled “IN RE CONTAGION OF COVID 19 VIRUS IN CHILDREN PROTECTION HOMES”, Chairperson, Juvenile Justice
The committee, High Court of Jammu and Kashmir, Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey today held a high-level meeting with senior government functionaries of the UT of Jammu and Kashmir.
The meeting was held through video conferencing to maintain social distance and implement the current lockdown successfully.
Principal Secretary Social Welfare, Shailendra Kumar, Deputy Commissioners of Jammu and Srinagar, Sushma Chouhan and Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, Commissioners, Municipal Corporations, Jammu and Srinagar, Avny Lavasa and Gazanfar Ali, Director Health Services, Kashmir, Mission Director, ICPS, SSP, Jammu and Srinagar, Joint Director Information, Parveen Kumar and other senior officers attended the meeting through Video Link.
Justice Magrey impressed upon all the attending officers to ensure strict implementation of the order passed by the Supreme Court of India and to ensure that the interest of children who fall within the ambit of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act is protected and urgent measures are taken on priority basis to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Child Care Institutions.
In the meeting, the attending officers were asked to direct Child Welfare Committees to conduct inspections/inquires, conduct special online sittings/video sessions to prevent COVID-19 spread. They were also directed to establish online help desks for queries relating to children and staff.
Municipal Commissioners, Jammu and Srinagar were directed to immediately launch a sanitization drive in Observation Home RS Pura Jammu and Harwan Srinagar respectively and other children Homes in the UT both in Government and private sector. He also directed the concerned authorities to undertake awareness drive among these children about social distancing, hand washing and other personal hygiene issues.
The Chairperson directed the Deputy Commissioners of Jammu and Srinagar to make the lists of the Juvenile Homes available to the Municipal authorities in the two cities for the purpose.
The Health Department was advised to immediately depute team of doctors and paramedics to Observation Homes and other Children Homes for checking the health status of each and every child staying in these Homes.
Justice Magray asked the Police Department to give necessary permission to transfer children to their family homes or Juvenile Justice Boards or any other authorities and at the same time to ensure that directions issued in respect of lockdown are not violated. He also directed the Police to ensure availability of transport to the children who ought to be taken to court or released on bail and also to see that they are not put to any unnecessary quarantine.
The attending officers were advised to immediately circulate information to all the Child Care Institutions about how to deal with COVID-19 pandemic timely and in effective manner. It was stressed that preparation must be started for meeting any disaster/emergency situation that may arise due to this pandemic and all the measures including staff rotation, reduction of in-person interaction by CCI staff and training of volunteers must be initiated at earliest.
Justice Magrey emphasized upon the participating Government functionaries and officers to ensure that counselling is made available in Child Care Institutions and that there are monitoring systems to ensure that violence of all kinds due to anxiety and stress produced by lockdown is monitored regularly and prevented immediately.
Need to make adequate budgetary allocations to meet the costs likely to arise for the effective management of pandemic was also discussed by Justice Magrey with the attending officers and they were also impressed upon to ensure availability of food, drinking water, clean clothes, good quality masks, soaps, disinfectants such as bleach or alcohol based disinfectants, menstrual hygiene products etc. to the children who fall within the ambit of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act in the Child Care Institutions.
It was also decided that the next meeting to review the implementation of directions passed by Supreme Court of India shall be held on April 15, 2020.