Kathmandu, November 24:

The Supreme Court today directed the government to set up a juvenile court to hear cases related to children under the Child Rights Act 1991. Issuing the order to the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Ministries of Women Children and Social Welfare and Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, a three-member bench of justices Ram Nagina Singh, Anup Raj Sharma and Gauri Dhakal also ordered the authorities to inform the apex court once the apex court verdict is executed.

Stating that the formation of juvenile benches in the district courts alone will not ensure justice to children, the bench ordered the government to set up a juvenile court. “Clause 55 of the Child Rights Act 1991 states that a juvenile court should be set up to conduct hearing on cases related to children,” the bench observed, ordering the monitoring unit of the apex court to make sure the verdict is implemented at the earliest. The SC ruling came in response

to a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by advocate Shantosh Kumar Mahato 10 months ago. The petitioner had asked the apex court to direct the government to form a juvenile court to hear cases related to the children. The petitioner had claimed that unless a juvenile court is set up, children’s right to justice cannot be ensured.