Two appointments to Karnataka State Selection Committee under Juvenile Justice Rules challenged: Karnataka High Court seeks State's response

The Committee is entrusted with selecting members of the Juvenile Justice Boards and the members to the Child Welfare Committees across the State.
Two appointments to Karnataka State Selection Committee under Juvenile Justice Rules challenged: Karnataka High Court seeks State's response
Karnataka High Court

The Karnataka High Court on Thursday sought the response of the State Government in a plea challenging the appointment of two members to the Karnataka State Selection Committee (committee), envisaged under the Juvenvile Justice Model Rules.

Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Vishwajith Shetty issued notice in the matter.

The petition filed by Advocate Sudha Katwa notes that the committee, under the Chairmanship of retired Justice KN Phaneendra, is entrusted with the duty of selecting members of the Juvenile Justice Boards and the President and Members to the Child Welfare Committees across the State.

The plea contends that two members selected to the State Level Committee from non-governmental organisations, Latha Jagadishnarayan and SM Badaskar, do not possess any experience in the field of child development or child protection.

It is the petitioner's case that though these two members were not shortlisted by the Government, their names appeared in the final notification, which was issued on August 6, 2020, by the State Government.

It has been submitted that the selection of the two members has been done contrary to the provision of Rule 87 (1) (iii) of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Model Rules, 2016.

"The appointment process of the Third and Fourth Respondents as Members of the Selection Committee, being tainted with arbitrariness, is illegal and unconstitutional as the same is made is made in gross violations of provisions of Rule 87 (1) (iii) of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Model Rules, 2016. The eligibility requirement as mandated under this rule was not considered by the First Respondent before finalisation of such appointment", reads the plea.

The plea further states that the petitioner had submitted a notice to the State government questioning the "illegal, ineligible and non-transparent process" with a request to withdraw the same. A legal notice was also sent on the same issue.

However, no response was provided to the said notices. Therefore, the petitioner has preferred a plea before the High Court.

The High Court has now been urged to prohibit the appointment of Latha Jagadishnarayan and SM Badaskar to the committee.

The matter has been adjourned to January 28.

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