SC finds status of shelter homes as frightening

The Supreme Court said that out of the 2,874 children homes, only 54 have received positive reviews from the body, set up under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act. Reuters file photo

The Supreme Court on Tuesday termed a report of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) on the status of children in shelter homes across India as "frightening".

The court, however, found itself as "helpless", saying any direction to the authorities in the matter would be called "judicial activism".

A bench presided over by Justice Madan B Lokur said that out of the 2,874 children homes, only 54 have received positive reviews from the body, set up under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act.

As per the social audit report, out of 185 shelter homes which were audited, only 19 have records of children residing there.

The bench, which also comprised Justices S Abdul Nazeer and Deepak Gupta, said if the court said something in the matter, it would be accused of "judicial activism", even though the authorities were "not interested" in doing their work and only "passing the buck" and blaming each other for the situation prevailing in these child shelters.

If the authorities had functioned properly, recent incidents like the one in Muzaffarpur in Bihar where several girls were allegedly raped and sexually abused in a shelter home would not have happened, it said.

"It is very clear from this (NCPCR) report that nobody is interested. The court is helpless. If we do something, then it will be said that it is judicial activism," the bench said, adding "judicial activism has to be given up".

Advocate Aparna Bhat, acting as an amicus curiae, said that directions from the top court was not judicial activism, as the welfare of children living in shelter homes was important.

The court noted that as per NCPCR's report, out of 210 special adoption centres audited, only eight received positive reviews while only 16% of the 172 observation homes had all the records of the children living there.

The joint secretary of the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) said that NCPCR's report was "very shocking" and monitoring by the authorities at all levels must be done to prevent such a situation.

She said the secretary of MWCD has written letters to chief secretaries of all states and Union territories to conduct inspection of child care institutions and such homes and submit a report by September 15.

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry

Comments:

SC finds status of shelter homes as frightening

0 comments

Write the first review for this !