Supreme Court Direction to Governments of Bihar and Chhattisgarh to Find Out Missing Children

On last Thursday, the Supreme Court issued direction to the Governments of Bihar and Chhattisgarh to find out those children who were missing from that States. The Court also issued summons to the Chief Secretary of the State of Madhya Pradesh for the failure to trace the kids. The Bench consisted of H L Dattu, hon’ble Chief Justice who said that the Court was impressed by the enthusiastic performance of the Bihar Government to find out 169 children who were missing in a week subsequent to the order of the Court. The Court directed the Government to trace the left over 464 kids in the coming three weeks. The Government of Chhattisgarh directed by the Court to trace all the left over children within a time of four weeks.

The Court expressed its aversion for the failure in the part of the Government of Madhya Pradesh to take appropriate measures to find those children. Hence the Court directed the Chief Secretary of the State to be present before the Court in person. Moreover, the Bench asked for the reply of the Central Government for enforcing the Standard Operating Procedures which is to be pursued by the States to find out the missing kids. Even before that, the Court had ordered for the appearance of the Chief Secretary as well as the DGP of Chhattisgarh and Bihar to scrutinize the steps taken by them to enforce the order to file FIR in the case of missing children. The Court therefore issued strict direction to the States and told then to consider the matter seriously taking most appropriate measures to deal with the matter.

For the petitioner, NGO, Bachpan Bachao Andolan, senior Lawyer H S Phoolka appeared and submitted that many states have not given complete report on the compliance of the direction of this Court. The Public Interest Litigation was filed to trace out the 1.7 lakh children who were missing from the nation from 2008 to 2010. Of these, many children were alleged to be kidnapped by sex rackets and for child labour. The NGO demanded uploading photos of the children in the ‘child track’ website and there shall be constituted a juvenile welfare officer in each police station all over the country.