The Manipur High Court has directed the Social Welfare Department to prepare an estimated budget for the financial year 2024-25 in terms of the new Budget Heads in conjunction with the 17 purposes elaborated in Rule 83(iv) of The Juvenile Justice (Care And Protection of Children) Model Rules, 2016 and produce them before the Court on next hearing.
The judgement was passed by Chief Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Golmei Gaiphulshillu Kabui on Saturday.
The Manipur High Court, on its own motion, took up the matter to implement the Juvenile Justice Act provision properly in the state.
The HC had directed the Social Welfare Department of the Government of Manipur to submit details of budgetary allocations made to the Juvenile Justice Fund.
It should be mentioned that the HC gave time to submit further details that section 105 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) of Children Act, 2000, read with Rules 29 to 34 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) of Children, Model Rules, 2016, indicate the infrastructure that is to be maintained for the welfare and rehabilitation of children covered by the statute.
Amicus curiae of the case submitted that further affidavit submitted from the department stated that Rs 10 lakh has been allocated for the financial year 2022-2023 to meet the requirements of Rules 29-34 of the Juvenile Justice Model Rules, 2016, but no details are forthcoming as to how this amount would be spent to satisfy the prescriptions of these rules.
The HC, in order to enable them to file an elaborate affidavit, indicating in clear terms how it has spent the allocated amount of Rs. 10 lakh against each of the requirement under Rule 29 to 38 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Model Rules, 2016 i.e. physical infrastructure; clothing, bedding, toiletries and other articles; sanitation and hygiene; daily routine; nutrition and diet scale; medical care; mental health; education; vocational training and recreational facilities, in the year 2022-23 by the state government, the hearing of the suo moto petition was adjourned.
In addition, the HC asked the state government to indicate in the affidavit to be filed the budgetary allocation made towards the juvenile justice fund in terms of the stipulation contained in theprovision of Section 105 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 read with Rule 83(4) of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Model Rules, 2016 within three weeks.
The public interest litigation case will not be closed and would be kept pending to monitor the performance of the state government in terms of the requirements of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 and the Rules framed, the HC added.