15 Nov 2021 4:16 PM GMT
The Supreme Court on Monday directed all the District Magistrates/ Collectors of all the state governments and UTs to take steps in accordance with the Standard Operating Procedure for Care and Protection of Children in Street Situations prepared by NCPCR in 2020.The Bench is currently hearing an application filed by the Amicus Curiae Gaurav Agrawal seeking directions in respect of children...
The Bench is currently hearing an application filed by the Amicus Curiae Gaurav Agrawal seeking directions in respect of children who are adversely affected due to Covid pandemic by losing either one or both the parents, and the increased incidents of child trafficking especially of the girl child. The Bench had on 31.10.2021 directed the state governments/Union Territories to file a status report on the rehabilitation of Children in Street Situations in accordance with the SOP, within a period of two weeks.
Additional Solicitor General K M Nataraj, appearing for NCPCR submitted that in his estimate, the number might be to the tune of 15-20 lakhs across the entire country. ASG Nataraj further submitted that the figure of 2 lakhs has been estimated only from 4 states whereas other states are yet to identify and upload the information on the portal. He requested the Court to issue directions that a two-stage exercise be undertaken- one from the 4 states to ensure that the children are rescued and rehabilitated and the other from the rest of the states to ensure tracking, rescue and rehabilitation.
ASG Nataraj further pointed out that many states do not cooperate in the meetings with NCPCR officials and urged the Court to issue a direction to the state governments/ UTs to "properly attend meetings and sensitise its officers."
"The process has to start by immediate action taken by authorities for identification of children in street situations and thereafter provide the information to NCPCR for the later stages as well. The state governments/UTs are directed to promptly attend meetings that are held by NCPCR and offer their suggestions and voicing their concerns, if there are any, in the implementation of SOP 2.0."
The matter is to be next heard on 13.12.2021. The Court also directed the Registry to register a new suo motu case "In re: Children in Street Situations" to deal with the issue of street children.
Case title: In Re: Contagion of COVID -19 Virus In Children Protection Homes.
Click Here To Read/Download The Order