The Supreme Court on Tuesday has passed a slew direction to handle the issue of missing children in India and has also asked the Government to immediately fill up the vacant positions in the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights.
Social Justice Bench comprising Justice M.B. Lokur and Justice U.U. Lalit even appointed Secretary of Women and Child Development Ministry as the Nodal Officer to coordinate with all the concerned departments of the states and look into their affidavits after which they are suppose to file a report before the court.
After the Senior Advocate H.S. Phoolka appearing for the NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan pointed that the State Commission and Advisory committee formed under the Juvenile Justice Act were non- functional, the Court directed nodal officer to ensure the formation of Advisory committees in all states. The Court has also roped in the services of the Faculty of Management Studies of Delhi University, asking its Director to examine the web portal of 'trackthemissingchild' and recommend improvements in it.
The Apex Court has asked Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS) to compile all the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and file a report after observing States like Odisha and Maharashtra who already have SOPs.
The Supreme Court has asked the National Police Academy in Andhra Pradesh to prepare a module and curriculum for training police officials who were dealing with the issue of missing children.
Now the matter will be heard on 20th February when the reports will be presented to the courts. The Court's directions came on the NGO's PIL alleging that over 1.7 lakh children have gone missing in the country between January 2008-2010, many of whom were kidnapped for trafficking in flesh trade and child labour.
You may access Live Law coverage of the case here.