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HC directs Maharashtra to appoint judicial member in Umerkhedi remand home

The Bombay High Court on Friday directed the Maharashtra government to expeditiously appoint a judicial member at the children remand home in Umerkhadi in South Mumbai to ensure speedy disposal of cases involving children in conflict with law.

A division bench of justices V M Kanade and B P Colabawala directed the government to appoint a judicial member within four weeks in the children’s home in Umerkhadi where there is a juvenile justice board. It also asked the government to check availability of members and staff at other juvenile justice boards in the state and if there is any vacancy then to take steps to fill it up.

The court had taken suo motu cognisance of the June 4 report of the principal magistrate, City Juvenile Justice Board, raising concerns over the condition of juveniles lodged in remand and shelter homes across the city. The report had stated that children are ragged physically and mentally and are also sexually abused.

Recently, 17-year-old boy died at the David Sassoon children home in Matunga following an alleged assault by other inmates.

The government today informed the court that pursuant to the incident, 42 children from Matunga home have been shifted to the children home in Umerkhadi. The court was also informed that CCTV cameras have been installed inside the remand home.

The court while observing that substantial steps are being taken for safety of inmates, has directed the state to file additional affidavit by four weeks.

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