Case: Arijit Mitra vs The State of West Bengal & Ors. [WPA 8882 of 2020]
The petitioner was the father of the minor son named Sourajit (16 years). He complained that a Social Investigation Report under Rule 19 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Model Rules, 2016 was filed, by the respondents without complying with the specific provisions as per sub-rules (3), (5) and (8) of the said Rule.
The petitioner contended that the impugned Social Investigation Report should be set aside for non-compliance with required provisions. It was also argued that subsequent filing of the report, might have an adverse effect on the child’s counselling.
The respondent (mother) pleaded that the second round of counselling was directed by the Court, passed in Writ Petition 2082 (W) of 2020, for which proceeding was pending before the Child Welfare Committee. It was also argued that the petitioner was barred by the principle of constructive res judicata in challenging such enquiry report at the subsequent stage since he didn’t challenge the same on any previous occasion.
The Respondents also contended that there was no scope for applicability of Rule 19, as the Social Investigation Report was apparently filed earlier.
The Hon’ble Justice Sabyasachi Bhattacharyya observed that the child’s counselling was being initiated at the behest of the petitioner (father). It was further remarked that the Child Welfare Committee cannot initiate any enquiry within the purview of Sections 31 and 36 of the 2015 Act since the minor was in his mother’s custody.
Furthermore, it was held that the purported Social Investigation Report, was in gross violation of sub-rules (3), (5) and (8) under Rule 19 of the said 2016 Rules and thus, the said impugned Report thereby, cannot stand the scrutiny of law.
The Hon’ble Court disposed of the petition by setting aside the impugned Social Investigation Report prepared in respect of the minor Sourajit, with no order as to costs.
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