Wednesday October 20, 2021

First Child Protection Court inaugurated in Mardan

MARDAN: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth inaugurated the Child Protection Court here on Saturday.

PHC Registrar Khwaja Wajihuddin, Group Development Pakistan Execute Director Valerie Khan, Registrar Administration, Abid Sarwar, District and Sessions Judge Muhammad Rauf Khan, Child Protection Court Judge Faryal Zia Mufti, Regional Police Officer (RPO) Muhammad Ali Khan, Deputy Commissioner Abid Khan Wazir, District Police Officer (DPO) Sajjad Khan, civil judges, lawyers and other officials attended the ceremony.

Registrar Khwaja Wajihuddin later told a press conference that establishing child protection courts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was aimed at providing speedy justice to the children as envisaged in the Juvenile Justice System Act, 2018, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Child Protection and Welfare Act, 2010 and the Constitution.

He said that PHC had posted Additional District and Sessions Judge Faryal Zia Mufti and Additional District and Sessions Judge Syed Iftikhar Shah as judges for the Child Protection Courts in Mardan and Abbottabad, respectively. The official added that in addition to the said judges, 24 others, including 12 ASJs and 12 judicial magistrates, four officials and 16 prosecutors had been specially trained in child rights and child justice by Group Development Pakistan.

The collaboration was struck with the PHC to create and sustain a pool of expert judicial officers who could be appointed to additional child courts in the province, he added. The registrar said that three Child Protection Courts have been established in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa so far. He said the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa judiciary was determined to establish courts for juveniles in each divisional headquarters of the province in the first phase to be followed by such courts in each district in the second phase.

Khwaja Wajihuddin underlined that the primary role of child protection courts was to ensure the protection of children from maltreatment, violence, exploitation, abuse and neglect. He said 243 children accessed justice service of which 137 criminal cases were put on trial and out of the 77 child offenders were extended bail at a rate of 56 percent, 10 convictions were awarded for violence against children, 6 juvenile offenders were discharged and 16 acquitted.

The official said that regular jail visits were made to monitor the status of 64 detainees in juvenile barracks at the central prisons.