Justice Meenakshi Madan Rai begins three-day tour of North Sikkim

Mangan, 03 May (IPR): Three-daylong tour to North Sikkim of Hon’ble Justice Meenakshi Madan Rai, Judge High Court of Sikkim and Executive Chairperson, Sikkim State Legal Services Authority, began today. She was accompanied by Mr. Sonam Palden Bhutia, District and Session Judge, North, Mr. Suraj Chettri, Member Secretary, SSLSA, Mrs. Matilda Isaacs, Special Secretary, SSLSA, North, Mr. Kunzang Dorjee Shangderpa, Sr. Superintendent of Police, North, Mr. Roger R Rai, Managing Director, SIDICO and Mr. Somnath Adhikari, Additional District Magistrate.

On the first day of her three-daylong tour, Justice Rai chaired an awareness-cum-sensitization programme on Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012, Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007, Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 and Adoption in terms of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 at Chungthang Panchayat Bhawan.

The programme which was organized by the Sikkim State Legal Services Authority in coordination with District Legal Services Authority, North Sikkim aims to make the school students and general public aware on the importance of above stated Act as the safeguarding tools for the protection of the rights of senior citizens, women and children.

During the programme, resource person Mr. Sonam Palden Bhutia sensitized to the participants on various provisions of Sikkim Anti Drugs Act (SADA), Protection of Child from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS). He informed that POCSO Act being implemented with the objective to provide care and protection of children from sexual assault, sexual harassment, pornography and to serve as guidance to children who are in conflict with law.

Similarly, resource person, Mr. Suraj Chettri sensitized the house on Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007, Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 and Adoption in terms of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.

Elucidating the JJ Act, Mr. Chettri enlightened the students on various crimes against children and Acts designed to safeguard the welfare of the children. He also highlighted the responsibilities of Child Development Protection Officer (CDPO) towards Care and Protection of Children those who are in need. Simultaneously, he informed about the Juvenile in Conflict with Law.

Talking on various provisions of child adoption he suggested the house to follow duly legal procedures before adopting any baby child. Further, he enlightened that the senior citizens can approach to the Sub Divisional Magistrate for seeking their maintenance under the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act.

Speaking on domestic violence, he informed that there are three types of Domestic Violence viz. Physical Violence, Mental Violence and Economic Violence. Any women facing such violence can seek legal assistance from their respective Magistrate Court.

Summing up the sensitization programme, Justice Rai informed that the programme was aimed to enlighten the unreached rural community about child rights and child protection through this sensitization programme. Additionally, she called upon the people of north district to approach Judicial Court in case of any POCSO offences rather to settle it amicably.

On the other side, she urged the Police Personnel to remain more sensitive towards POCSO offence. She opined that the general information of POCSO should be taught in more serious manner in the school as to bring more sensitization among the students.

Justice Rai stated that POCSO is a non-compoundable and non-bailable offence and encouraged everyone to join hands to combat child sexual abuse in our society. After the programme, Justice Rai and her entourage proceeded towards Lachen.

On the second day of her tour, she will visit Gurudongmar Lake and Tsholhamu Lake. Justice Rai will visit Lachung and Yumthang on the last day of her tour and will also attend the legal interaction programme with Pipons and village elders at Lachung.