Juvenile homes told to release inmates after 3-yr sentence

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Chennai, May 23 (UNI) Madras High Court today directed the juvenile homes in Tamil Nadu to set at liberty inmates who had completed three years.

Disposing of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), a Division Bench comprising Justices K Venkataraman and Sathyanarayan, observed that the detention period in observation homes should also be included for calculating the period of three years of stay as otherwise it would cause a serious anomaly.

The Bench held that a juvenile who had not completed three years could be released on probation on the basis of good conduct and placed under the care of any parent, guardian or any other fit person if they execute a bond with or without surety as the Juvenile Board might require.

Petitioner V Balachandar, involved in voluntary service in Ramana Kendra and connected with the Government Special Home for Boys as a member of the Home Welfare Committee, sought the court to direct the Government to release juveniles, who have been detained for more than three years in the special home for boys.

Several juveniles have been kept in detention for more than three years, he added.

The petitioner submitted that ''Section 15 (G) of the amended Juvenile Justice Act (Care and Protection of Children) 33 of 2006 provides for an order, directing the juveniles to be sent to a special home for a period of three years.

''A close reading of the provisions under the said Act would indicate that the procedural law pertaining to a juvenile has been substantially amended and altered by the provisions of the Act 56 of 2000 along with the amended Act 33 of 2006,'' he added.

UNI XR GD RJ DB2000

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