February,8,2016: The Supreme Court on Friday criticised the Centre, saying the ground reality vis-a-vis welfare of children from vulnerable sections of society was far divorced from the government’s “wonderful” laws, policies and schemes for their care and welfare.
“All the ideas you have seem OK. Government of India has wonderful laws, ideas and schemes but the things are different at the ground,” the social justice bench of Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit said as Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta shought to apprise the court of the schemes the government has framed for welfare of children.
As ASG Mehta mentioned “Sabla” — the Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls — the court observed: “It is a wonderful scheme but what is happening. People do a lot of work, make plans but what happens. But ground realities are completely different.”
The court noted that on April 17, it asked the government to take steps for the expeditious appointment of the chairman and members of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) which are lying vacant for quite some time but even today the situation is where it was then.
The vacancies of the NCPCR chairperson who demitted office in 2014 and that of the members who completed their terms in 2013 have not been filled.
The court on April 17, while referring to the government’s affidavit, said: “Absolutely, no indication has been given as to when the selection process will be or is likely to be completed.”
Having disapproved of the way the “wonderful” laws, schemes and policies for the welfare of children were being implemented, the court sought details of the budgetary allocations and utilisation towards Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS).
The court directed further hearing of the matter on October 16.