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July 31, 2020

Child courts in KP disposing of cases in short span: official

National

July 31, 2020

PESHAWAR: Child Courts, established in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in March 2019, have shown performance by disposing of dozens of cases in a short span.

According to information provided by protocol officer of Peshawar High Court, the incumbent Chief Justice of Peshawar High Court Waqar Ahmed Seth established the first ever specific child court in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on March 16, 2019, under the double jurisdiction of KP Child Protection and Welfare Act (KPCPWA) and the Juvenile Justice System Act (JJSA).

This achievement was followed by a decision from the National Judicial Policy (Making) Committee to establish pilot child courts in each provincial capital in the first place, and then in each district of all provinces of Pakistan.

This decision gave birth to country-wide efforts to establish pilot child courts to enforce the JJSA and relevant child protection laws. Protocol Officer Zubair Hussain said that in October 2019, two additional pilot child courts were established in Mardan and Abbottabad.

In alignment with the JJSA, the KP High Court and the Khyber Pakhutnkhwa government notified seven Juvenile Justice Committees (JJCs) in Mardan, Chitral, Peshawar, Haripur, Abbottabad, Bajaur, and Mohmand districts. The latest data from March 2016 to June 2020 on pilot child courts’ performance in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has been released by the Peshawar High Court and is highly encouraging.

Out of six pilot child courts established in Pakistan to date, three are located in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The fourth one is about to be inaugurated in Ghallanai, Mohmand district, after Eidul Azha.

Out of eight juvenile justice committees established in Pakistan, 7 are located in KP and the only operational one so far is in Peshawar. For the first time in the history of Pakistan, 4 boys in conflict with the law availed diversion, which is a form of rehabilitation contributing to keeping away children from detention as much as possible and reform them into positive citizens.