RAHIM YAR KHAN: A nine-year-old boy charged with rape has been denied right to bail and is languishing in jail for over a month.

Reports said Shidani police [Liaquatpur tehsil] had a registered a first information report under section 377 against minor boy (A). A local court of Liaquatpur tehsil did not grant bail to the boy and sent him to jail.

Rahim Yar Khan District Jail Superintendent Babar Shah said the boy was brought here on Aug 25.

“He is still in jail and if convicted by the court, he will be sent to borstal in Bahawalpur.” However, he said there should be separate boarding or counselling institutes for minors as jail is not suitable for them.

A senior supreme court lawyer, Farooq Warind, told Dawn that Juvenile Justice System Ordinance (JJSO) 2002 had been introduced for the welfare of minors involved in any crime.

According to the ordinance, separate courts were established for minors below 18 years of age, he said adding the law was softened and the minors were given protection against different crimes. He said later an improved version — Juvenile Justice System Act (JJSA) 2018 — was promulgated.

According to JJSA, if a minor under 16 commits a crime (minor or major), bail will be granted to him as a right. The act further explains that in case of arrest, the minor will be given in the custody of guardian or in safe hands.

“The minor should not be sent to jail with other prisoners and he will be kept in a separate boarding house,” Warind said.

Published in Dawn, September 30th, 2021

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