15.04.2004 Regional News

Techimam CHRAJ settles more cases

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Techiman (B/A), April 15, GNA - The Techiman Municipal office of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice received a total of 116 complaints within the first quarter of the year.

A quarterly report from the Municipal office signed by its director, Mr Kwasi Asante-Boateng, said non-maintenance of children and spouses topped the list of complaints, followed by unfair treatment, tenancy disputes, marriage affairs, estate matters and abuse of rights. Others were on child custody, paternity, salary arrears, property, and labour issues.

The report stated that 50 of the complaints were successfully resolved, 40 were still pending while 10 were withdrawn to be settled at home. One case was sent to the Magistrate's court for lack of co-operation from one of the parties.

Eight of the cases were dismissed for lack of jurisdiction while seven others were also discontinued for lack of interest shown by the complainants, it added.

One striking case was on non-maintenance in which the respondent felt that he could not be held responsible for the maintenance of a pregnant woman he already had a child with.

The report said the man had taken care of the needs of the woman while she was on admission at the hospital and also accepted to pay her bills, but said he only did these because the woman was the mother of his first child.

During the period under review, the Techiman Municipal CHRAJ office continued with its public education programmes on two FM radio stations - ASTA and Classic - on weekly basis, the report added.

It said the office had drawn up a comprehensive programme of activities for the second-quarter, including more public education programmes.

The office complained of lack of means of transport and called on the Commission's head office, philanthropists and well-wishers to assists it with a four-wheel vehicle to enable it to cope with the large volume of work in the municipality.

It appealed to the Regional Rent Office to open an office at Techiman to deal with the avalanche of tenancy cases in the area. The office also advised the youth to accept pregnancies they are responsible for since they could only be found not to be liable after a DNA or paternity test. Until after a paternity test it will be the responsibility of suspects to maintain the pregnancies, the report said.

It reminded parents of the Children's Act of 1998, Act 560, which makes it obligatory for them to maintain their children, failure of which a person could be jailed for 12 months or fined five million cedis, or both.

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