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HC: How many children released from juvenile detention?

  • Published at 11:50 pm November 19th, 2019
High Court-HC-court
File photo of High Court building Dhaka Tribune

The bench has no jurisdiction to convict any children, and detain them even for a day

The High Court on Tuesday wanted to know why juveniles convicted by mobile courts at different times and kept in juvenile development centres have not been released. 

The court sought this information of  how many juveniles convicted by mobile courts at different times are kept in juvenile centres to date even though the High Court has ordered  their release on bail in its  October 31 order.

The HC bench of Justices Sheikh Hassan Arif and Md Mahmud Hassan Talukder passed the order while hearing a suo moto rule.

The court asked the state lawyer to get this information out from the authorities concerned and let the court know by November 26.

Abdullah Al Masud, caretaker of Jessore juvenile development centre told Dhaka Tribune that there was only one 17 year old juvenile detained by mobile court and was released a few days before the order by the High Court. 

Earlier on October 31, the High Court ordered the authorities concerned to release those convicted by mobile courts from Gazipur, Tongi, and Jessore juvenile development centre.

The High Court bench passed the suo moto order, following a report run by a daily newspaper, and asked the authorities to immediately release the convicts who are less than 12 years of age. 

It gave six months to the authorities to release the convicts aged between 13 to 18.

The court also ordered the granting of a six-month bail to those above 12 years, and the authorities to submit documents related to the conviction of these children within a week.

The bench said that the mobile court has no jurisdiction to convict any children, and detain them even for a day.

If any children are found involved in any criminal activities, the children’s court will conduct their trial, it added.

HC issued a rule asking the authorities concerned to explain why the conviction of the children by mobile courts should not be declared illegal.

Secretary of the ministries of Home, Social Welfare, Woman and Children Affairs, DG RAB, and the Department of Social Services were made respondents for the rule. 

Barrister Md Abdul Halim, and advocate Ishrat Hasan placed the newspaper report before the High Court bench seeking necessary orders.

According to the report, the mobile courts have recently convicted 121 children for various crimes, and sent them to Children Development Centres.