Home / Latest News / Supreme Court frowns at complete lack of concern by the States/UTs in looking into issues pertaining to children

Supreme Court frowns at complete lack of concern by the States/UTs in looking into issues pertaining to children

August,3,2015: While looking into the methodology of  carrying out social audits postulated by Section 36 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 (for short “the Act”) and Rule 64 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Rules, 2007 (for short “the Rules”), Supreme.Court has expressed dissatisfaction with the constitution of Committee by MWCD for laying down policy for conducting social audits.

Juvenile Justice System
Juvenile Justice System

Court said that members of the civil society, academia, experts in various other disciplines which can work to the advantage of children have not been included in this Committee.

Court has Directed Ministry of Women and Child Development to broad-base the composition of the Committee so that at least 20 or 25 people from civil society, experts, academia, institutions such as Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Public Administration, Indian Institute of Management, etc. are included so that a multi-disciplinary and meaningful discussion takes place on the methodology of carrying out social audits.

SC found that Ministry had sent a communication to the Chief Secretaries of all the States/Union Territories, but it received a response from only five of them. SC observed,”‘This is extremely unfortunate and it indicates a complete lack of concern by the Chief Secretaries of the States/Union Territories in looking into issues pertaining to children. It also indicates that the Ministry has not been following up on the communications sent by it and does not seem to be concerned about the result of the communications. This is hardly the way to ensure that the rights of children are taken care of. The Ministry has a crucial role to play in society and the sooner this is appreciated the better it is for everybody. We need not say anything more on the subject and expect the Ministry to be far, far more vigilant than it has been in the last decade or so.”

Court has also said that one day meeting of this committee is not adequate to deal with the subject of Social Audit and has told ministry to call more meetings on this.  In this case, Court has not put any penalty on MWCD but has expressed disappointment on way of functioning of MWCD.

Order passed by Supreme Court-

1 ITEM NO.301 COURT NO.9 SECTION PIL (W)

S U P R E M E C O U R T O F I N D I A

RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS

 

Writ Petition(s)(Criminal) No(s).102/2007

 

RE: EXPLOITATION OF CHILDREN IN ORPHANAGES IN THE STATE OF TAMIL NADU Petitioner(s)

VERSUS

UNION OF INDIA & ORS. Respondent(s)

 

(With appln.(s) for exemption from filing O.T. and extension of time and intervention and office report)

Date: 31/07/2015

 

This petition was called on for hearing today.

 

CORAM:

HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE MADAN B. LOKUR

HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE UDAY UMESH LALIT

 

UPON hearing the counsel the Court made the following O R D E R

Pursuant to our order dated 17th April, 2015, the Secretary in the Ministry of Women and Child Development is present in Court today.

The Ministry of Women and Child Development has filed an affidavit of Mr. Naveen Yadav, Under Secretary in the Ministry on 28th July, 2015. We have perused the affidavit and gone through its contents with the assistance of learned amicus curiae as well as the learned Additional Solicitor General.

A Committee has been set up for laying down the policy for conducting social audits. We have gone through the composition of the Committee and find that members of the civil society, academia, and experts in various other disciplines which can work to the advantage of children have not been included in this Committee. Accordingly, we require the Secretary in the Ministry of Women and Child Development to broad-base the composition of the Committee so that at least 20 or 25 people from civil society, experts, academia, institutions such as Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Public Administration, Indian Institute of Management, etc. are included so that a multi-disciplinary and meaningful discussion takes place on the methodology of  carrying out social audits postulated by Section 36 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 (for short “the Act”) and Rule 64 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Rules, 2007 (for short “the Rules”).

A meeting of the Committee is scheduled for 14th August, 2015, but we have serious doubts whether the discussion can conclude in one day given the scope of requirements of Section 36 of the Act and Rule 64 of the Rules and the magnitude of the task. If necessary, the meeting can be held again by the Ministry.

We have also been shown a copy of the Report of the Working Group on Child Rights for the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-2017). This Report also needs discussion and the shortcomings pointed out in the Report also need to be taken care of by the Ministry. Learned amicus curiae has pointed out to us that Forms XX and XXI of the Rules provide for a Child Care Plan. She submits that it is very unlikely that any child care institution is following this Child Care Plan.

Learned amicus has, in addition to the Child Care Plan mentioned in Forms XX and XXI of the Rules, independently prepared a child care plan. This will be shared by learned amicus with the learned Additional Solicitor General during the course of the day and at some point of time in the near future this will also have to be discussed by the Ministry.

In addition to the above, the Ministry will also have to take into consideration the effective implementation of the Act – a social audit is only one of the requirements of the Act and there are several other Sections of the statute that are not being adhered to by the Union of India and the States/Union Territories which is extremely unfortunate.

We hope and trust that the learned Additional Solicitor General will take some personal interest in the matter and will continue to appear in this case and assist this Court and ensure that various provisions of the law are scrupulously followed.

With regard to the social audit, it appears that the Ministry has sent a communication to the Chief Secretaries of all the States/Union Territories, but has received a response from only five of them. This is extremely unfortunate and it indicates a complete lack of concern by the Chief Secretaries of the States/Union Territories in looking into issues pertaining to children. It also indicates that the Ministry has not been following up on the communications sent by it and does not seem to be concerned about the result of the communications. This is hardly the way to ensure that the rights of children are taken care of. The Ministry has a crucial role to play in society and the sooner this is appreciated the better it is for everybody. We need not say anything more on the subject and expect the Ministry to be far, far more vigilant than it has been in the last decade or so.

Since the presence of the States/Union Territories has already been dispensed with for the time being, the Registry is directed not to accept any affidavit filed by the States/Union Territories, until further orders.

List the matter on 28th August, 2015 on which date the progress made will be reported by the Ministry.

The Secretary in the Ministry of Women and Child Development need not be present on the next date but we expect a senior officer to be present and the learned Additional Solicitor General suitably briefed.

 

(SANJAY KUMAR-I)                 (JASWINDER KAUR)

COURT MASTER                      COURT MASTER

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Links to Children Laws at LatestLaws.in-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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