Supreme Court to hear plea filed by child activists: Activists seek clarity on media reports of “illegal detention of children”

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear on Monday a petition filed by two child rights activists seeking clarity in reports that children are being illegally detained by security forces in Jammu and Kashmir, undergoing a period of lockdown following the reading down of Article 370.

A Bench led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi will hear Enakshi Ganguly and Dr. Shanta Sinha on allegations relating to the “illegal detention of children in Kashmir as reported in the media and seeking judicial intervention in the matter”. The petition wants the court to direct the government to file a status report and order the Juvenile Justice Committee of the High Court of J&K to monitor incidents of detention.

“With regard to the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, there have been certain reports specific to children, which describe violations of very different kinds, ranging in seriousness from potential loss of life and liberty of the child, to being emotionally and intellectually drawn into the conflict,” the petition said.

They submitted that the reports are serious enough to merit judicial review of the situation with respect to children and to enforce and monitor certain immediate corrective action.

“The areas of concern as gleaned from reportage in mainstream newspapers are thus: the first pertains to illegal [if temporary] detention [and in some cases beatings] of young boys by security forces. The second concerns serious injuries and deaths of children through deliberate or accidental action,” the petition said.