The High Court yesterday wanted to know how many children who were convicted by mobile courts at various times and kept in juvenile correction centres have been released, following its October 31 order.
It asked Deputy Attorney General Bipul Baghmar to provide the information before this court by November 26.
The HC bench of Justice Sheikh Hassan Arif and Justice Md Mahmud Hassan Talukder passed the order while hearing a suomoto (voluntary) rule and also fixed the same date for passing further order on this issue.
On October 31, the bench had issued the suomoto rule and ordered the government to immediately release children -- aged under 12 years -- who were convicted by mobile courts and kept in juvenile correction centres.
The court said children [under 12 years] have no understanding of the consequence of offences, and therefore they cannot be convicted by mobile courts and kept in correction centres.
It also granted six months’ bail to children -- aged between 12 and 18 -- who were convicted and kept in such centres. They will be released subject to the satisfaction of the children’s court concerned, after finishing their bail bonds, the HC said.
On that day, the bench observed that mobile courts have no jurisdiction to convict or sentence any child for an offence. Only, the Shishu Adalot (children’s court) can deal with cases filed against children as per the Children Act-2013, it said while issuing the rule.
It asked authorities to explain why the conviction of children by mobile courts should not be declared illegal.
The HC bench came up with the order and rule, following a report published in Bangla daily Prothom Alo the same day.
According to the report, mobile courts have illegally jailed 121 children for six months to one year and sent them to juvenile correction centres in Tongi and Jashore.
Barrister Md Abdul Halim and Advocate Ishrat Hasan placed the newspaper report before the HC bench for necessary orders.