Taking cognisance of the report submitted by the UT department of social welfare highlighting minors wrongfully lodged with adults in Model Burail Jail here, the jail authority has initiated the process of sending such prisoners to juvenile home.
The Hindustan Times on Tuesday had reported that a team of social welfare department during inspection had found three minors aged between 16 and 17 lodged in the prison, in violation of Juvenile Justice Act, while age of eight more prisoners, who claimed to be minors, is being verified. All eight such prisoners hail from other states.
The jail authority has taken written applications from the minor prisoners, which have been forwarded to the local court.
Inspector general (prison) Maneesh Chaudhary said, "The applications of the minors have been forwarded to the court, which will issue directions for sending them to the Juvenile Home in Sector 25."
He further added that the jail authority had no role in deciding whether to keep inmates in jail or to shift them somewhere else.
Pam Rajput, chairperson, union government's high-level committee on the status of women and children, said keeping children in adult jail was not only against the law, but also had negative impact on their psychology. "Keeping children in adult jail is not done. The police and court should act more carefully
while dealing with minor offender," Rajput said.
Under the Juvenile Justice Act, a minor juvenile is kept in custody at a juvenile home and not in a jail for adults. In routine practice, after a person is arrested, the investigating officer records the age in a detailed report which is presented before a court for its decision.
Every police officer at the time of arresting a minor accused is under obligation to inform the offender about his right to be dealt with under the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act. The investigating officer affecting the arrest has to prepare the age memo, a copy of which is to be provided to the offender and his parents/ guardians/ relative who has been intimated about his arrest.