New Delhi: The city police have been directed by the Delhi High Court to implement the Juvenile Justice Board`s (JJB) earlier order, asking it to probe and act against adult offenders for using children in offences like theft.
Disposing of a PIL, a division bench of Chief Justice NV Ramana and Justice Manmohan in an order said "the writ petition is disposed of with a direction to Delhi police to ensure that guidelines issued by the Juvenile Justice Board 1 on January 25, 2011 are adhered to."
The court`s order came on a PIL filed by advocate Anant Asthana alleging a large number of underprivileged juveniles were being forced to take up crime by organised gangs.
Taking note of a city based organised gang called "Thak-Thak" (knock-knock) gang, the JJB-1 had asked the Delhi Police to take action against adult criminals for using children for various offences including theft.
The PIL alleged organised gangs are using juveniles to commit crimes at the behest and command of adult perpetrators and "whenever minors are caught, they are dealt with under the provisions of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act but no action is taken against the main perpetrators who are influencing and directing them to commit crimes".
According to the plea, "the state and its instrumentalities should come forward with full might and determination to protect children who are being trapped into this circle of crime by adults due to their vulnerability, helplessness and tender age."
It was further said in the plea that "this situation has been prevailing in Delhi for quite a long time now while the respondent (Delhi police) have been dealing with this problem in a casual manner not realising the gravity involved and not realising the urgency with which duty-holders need to respond to this challenge."
The court disposed of the plea after accepting a status report filed by the Deputy Commissioner of Delhi Police saying the JJB order had been circulated to all police stations in February 2011 as well as in October last year for strict compliance.
"The guidelines/instructions issued by the JJB 1 are being followed by all Juvenile Welfare Officers/investigating officers," the police report said.
In its affidavit, the state government has also outlined the various steps it is taking as well as it proposed to take to strengthen the implementation of JJ Act.