The Delhi High Court has directed police to act against adult offenders who use children in thefts. The court while hearing a public interest petition Wednesday said police should follow the guidelines issued by the Juvenile Justice Board Jan 25, 2011 on the matter.
A division bench of Chief Justice N.V. Ramana and Justice Manmohan said: “The writ petition is disposed off with a direction to police to ensure that guidelines issued by the Juvenile Justice Board … are adhered to.”
The court was hearing a petition filed by advocate Anant Asthana alleging that a large number of under-privileged juveniles were being forced by organised gangs to take to crime. The board, while taking note of an organised gang called “Thak thak” (knock knock) asked police to take action against the adult criminals for using children.
The petitioner alleged that organised gangs were using juveniles to commit crimes and “whenever minors are caught, they are dealt with under the provisions of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 but no action is taken against the main perpetrators”.
“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,” the petition said.
The court disposed off the petition while taking into note the status report filed by deputy commissioner of police saying the JJB order had been circulated to all the police stations in February 2011 as well as in October last year for strict compliance.
In its affidavit, the state government outlined the various steps it was taking as well as it proposed to take to strengthen the implementation of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act.