Acting in accordance with the directions given by the Supreme Court on April 3 in a suo moto case on the conditions of child protection homes across the country, the division bench comprising of Justice A.K. Jayasankaran Nambiar and Justice Shaji P. Chaly progressed to seek a report from Child Welfare Committees, Juvenile Justice Boards and Children Courts and Child Care Institutions in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus amongst young children.
In order ‘to monitor the matter and ensure the protection of the children in the Children Homes as directed by the Apex Court’, the Kerala High Court impleaded the Special Secretary, Social Justice Department, Government of Kerala, Secretariat, Thiruvananthapuram, and the Director, Women and Child Development Department, Government of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram, to take steps for the same.
The matter was then posted for hearing to April 15 after giving a week’s time to the respected parties to take appropriate steps.
By applying the relevant proviso of Section 12 of the Juvenile Justice (JJ) Act, 2015, the Apex Court also directed the JJ Board and Children Courts to release all children allegedly in conflict with the law on a temporary bail because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“There are children who need care and attention or children in conflict with the law who are kept in various types of homes. There are also children who are kept in foster and kinship care. In these circumstances, it was felt that the interest of these children should be looked into.”, the Apex Court stated while taking cognizance of the matter. Various directions were given by the SC to the appropriate bodies and directed the State Government of Kerala to keep abreast with the latest developments from time to time.