Five months after introducing the amended Juvenile Justice Act, 2015, the Madhya Pradesh government has re-constituted a State Child Protection Society (SCPS) under Section 106 of the Act.
Besides implementing the newly amended Juvenile Justice Act, the 14-member society will also monitor the integrated child protection scheme in the state.
The society will comprise principal secretaries of the state women and child development department, home department, school education department, labour department, urban administration and development department, public health and family welfare department, law, besides the commissioner of women empowerment, the Bhopal divisional railway manager, secretary of Madhya Pradesh Child Rights and Protection Commission, mayor of Bhopal and district panchayat president of Sehore.
Child rights activist Vibhanshu Joshi, who has been appointed as representative of the civil society, said that the SCPS will contribute in effective implementation of child protection legislation schemes in the state.
“The society will also work for networking and coordinating with government departments, voluntary and civil organisations working for child rights and protection,” he said.
Welcoming the decision, Prashant Dubey, a child rights activist said, “This is a very good step that shows that the government is sensitive towards child protection.”
The amended act came into effect on January 15 this year, but in the absence of a committee, the juvenile justice board was not be able to implement the new provisions of the act.
Due to non-implementation of the amended act, three minors, accused of murdering a classmate in Sagar district, were punished according to the old provisions.
Child rights activists said punishing the minors under the new provisions of the amended act could have been the first case in the country.
The new provisions of the law provides a mechanism to treat juveniles — in the age group of 16-18 years — at par with adult criminals for crimes such as murder and rape that carry a punishment of more than seven years.
JJ Act, Sec 106
Every state government shall constitute a child protection society for the state and child protection unit for every district, consisting of officers and other employees as may be appointed by that government, to take up matters relating to children with a view to ensure the implementation of the Act, including the establishment and maintenance of institutions under the act, notification of competent authorities in relation to the children and their rehabilitation and co-ordination with various official and non-official agencies concerned and to discharge such other functions as may be prescribed.