SC asks Bihar, Chhattisgarh to trace missing children

SC asks Bihar, Chhattisgarh to trace missing children

The Supreme Court today directed Bihar and Chhattisgarh governments to trace missing children in their states within a month and summoned Madhya Pradesh's Chief Secretary for the state's failure in finding such kids.

Impressed by Bihar government's performance in tracing 169 missing children within a week after its order, a bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu directed it to complete the task of finding out remaining 464 children within three weeks.

It granted four weeks time to the Chhattisgarh government to find out all missing children in the state.

Expressing anguish over the failure of Madhya Pradesh government in taking action in tracing missing children, the bench asked its Chief Secretary to be personally present on the next date of hearing.

It also sought the Centre's response on implementation of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) which should be followed by all states in tracing missing children.

The bench had earlier summoned the Chief Secretary and the DGP of Bihar and Chhattisgarh to explain as to what actions they have been taking on the issue after noting that the states are not implementing its order for registering FIRs in missing children cases.

In a stern warning to all states, the apex court had in October asked them not to make a "tamasha" (drama) of the issue and take effective action to tackle such incidents.

Senior advocate H S Phoolka, appearing for NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan, said many states have not provided data and compliance report of the apex court's earlier direction on the issue.

The Supreme Court had passed a slew of directions 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.

It had directed that FIR should be registered as soon as information regarding a missing child is received by the police.

Further, a photograph of the child be uploaded on the 'Child Track' website, it had said, adding that there should be a juvenile welfare officer in every police station in the country.

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