Mumbai: Magistrate in dock for failure to perform duty

Mumbai: Gauri Jadhav Tanksali, the former metropolitan magistrate, Mumbai, posted at the Juvenile Justice Board at Dongri has worked only for one and a half years out of her total tenure of three years while serving at the court. From January 1, 2017, to March 1, 2017, Jadhav had presided at the court only for three days.

According to information sought from the State Chief Information Commissioner by an advocate under the Right to Information Act (a copy of which is which us available with the Free Press Journal), from October 31, 2013, up to December 31, 2013, Jadhav had worked merely for twenty days. From January 1, 2014, to December 31, 2014, Jadhav’s attendance was 189 days. In 2015, she had worked for 176 days while in 2016, her attendance record was mere 85 days.

Her attendance records were procured by advocate Hanumant Gopal Bhise on July 29 this year. The records until May 22 this year (last working day of Jadhav) has still not been handed over to Bhise. Later, Jadhav was transferred to Latur.

According to a member of the Juvenile Justice Board who does not wish to be named, “Why was Gauri Jadhav allowed to work so leniently at the Dongri court. 631 cases were pending before the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) during Jadhav’s tenure. Despite repeated complaints from the Board, no action was taken against her. The poor people have to bear the brunt when such magistrates do not preside over the court matters whereas the cases of heinous crimes like rape, sodomy etc should be fast-tracked and disposed off at the earliest.”

According to Dipak Chattopadhyay, an advocate at the Bombay High Court and member of the Juvenile Justice Board, “Last year, in August, Jadhav had given permission to conduct a shooting of the movie Raees inside the premises of the David Sassoon industrial home, a juvenile home in Matunga. The permission of the shooting was a violation of the Juvenile Justice Act. Jadhav was also present at the home just to witness the shoots at night. The juvenile inmates of the home were also a part of the shoot compromising the safety and security of the juvenile home. In August 2016, ten inmates of the Matunga home had escaped from the home by jumping off from the compound wall.”

On August 14, 2016, the Free Press Journal had published a story “10 minor boys escape from Matunga juvenile home. On December 3, 2016, the FPJ had carried a story, “Film shoot at juvenile home despite great escape.” We had said that the vanity vans were parked inside the premises of the David Sassoon home and private security guards of the shooting unit were manning the entrance of the home.

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