Taking suo moto cognisance of HT’s report on missing kids published on Tuesday, the Delhi high court has sought the police’s response.
A bench of justice Sanjiv Khanna and justice Siddharth Mridul asked the police to respond to the facts stated in the news report, which said that six children remain untraced daily.
The report came up during the hearing on the case of a child who went missing.
The bench asked lawyer Anand Asthana, who represented the missing child’s family, to share with the police commissioner whatever information he had about operation of organised gangs that kidnap children.
The HT report had said that 386 children went missing this year and most of them have remained untraced.
“The data is quite shocking. On an average, three to four children remained untraced every day till last year. This year, the number has gone up to six,” the report had quoted Rakesh Sengar of Bachpan Bachao Andolan.
The court sought a comprehensive report from the Delhi government about the steps it has taken in the past three years after it first ordered a crackdown on the menace.
The direction came after the NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan told the court that the government’s steps were grossly inadequate as there were 50,000 child labourers in the Capital and only 3,500 were rescued after the high court 2009 order.
“If the Delhi government in compliance with the court order had rescued 500 child labourers every month, till now over 18,000 children would have been saved.
"But its failure has resulted in child labourers growing up into anti-social elements,” the NGO’s lawyer Prabhsahay Kaur told a bench of Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice VK Jain.