Juveniles found detained in Parappana Agrahara

Juveniles found detained in Parappana Agrahara

Members of the Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KSCPCR) on Friday found juvenile delinquents at the Central Prisons at Parappana Agrahara.

Tipped off by the nine juvenile offenders who were recently shifted to the Observation Home for Boys in Madiwala and a complaint lodged by two juveniles who were not produced before the magistrate, a team comprising KSCPCR member Vasudev Sharma, legal counsel Sumitra and Dr Sumana of the Government Dental College paid a surprise visit to the prison.

A review of the case files and preliminary dental examinations performed by the dentist pointed out the possibility of 22 inmates being juveniles or aged below 18.

Vasudev Sharma said the boys end up in prison usually due to erroneous information given in police records. “Most of these boys would not know their exact date or year of birth. It is easy to manipulate their records. We found that quite a few of these boys have served several months in detention,” he said.

After speaking to them, the Commission has established that they had access to education and none of them were put to hard labour.

“The prison authorities expressed sensitivity to the needs and problems of the young detainees and had initiated measures to ascertain their true age,” Sharma stated.
The Commission has gathered information on the 22 detainees suspected to be juveniles and intends to conduct a detailed inquiry  involving the police, lawyers and prison authorities, to delve into lapses that might have occurred leading to their wrongful confinement.

They will also write to the Director General of Police to undertake an immediate inventory of all men below 25 years lodged in prisons throughout Karnataka to rule out cases of illegal detention of juveniles. The KSCPCR members say they will also look into the motive of the police to record the age of the boys higher than the actual before producing them in the court. 

In cases where wilful negligence is established, disciplinary action against the police personnel concerned and suitable compensation for the boys will be recommended.

According to the complaint lodged with the Commission, the nine boys had spent a few weeks to over 12  months in judicial custody without proper hearings, despite the repeated efforts made by their families to establish their minor status.

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