In the ongoing hearing of the Vishanta v Union of India matter before the bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and NV Ramana on March 15, the question of who has the responsibility to frame rules under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 came up with both Haryana Government and the Centre evading each other’s responsibility in the matter.
While Haryana was not clear whether it had the exclusive responsibility in the matter, the Centre, interpreting the Act, submitted that only the State concerned could frame the rules under it.
The case pertains to the restoration of three minor girls, abducted from Jharkhand and now in a protection home in Haryana, with their parents. While one of them has been restored to her parents, the other two could not be united with their parents, as their cases have not yet been taken up by the duly-constituted Child Welfare Committee in Gurgaon, Haryana, where the children are presently staying. Read the previous Livelaw story here.
On March 15, Dheera Khandelwal, Additional chief secretary, women and child development, Government of Haryana, was present in the Court, as directed by the bench during the previous hearing.
She told the court that vacancies in the Child Welfare Committee in Gurgaon could not be filled up as there are no Rules under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015. In the absence of any Rules having been framed, it is not possible to fill up the vacancies, she told the court.
Additional Solicitor General, Maninder Singh, however, disputed this and referred to Section 110 of the Act. He submitted that the primary responsibility for framing Rules under the Act is with the State Government and not the Central Government.
The bench then directed Haryana to take steps to ensure the full complement of members in all the Child Welfare Committees of Haryana by 28 March.
Read the order here.