"There is a need for toughening of licensing norms and legislature has to keep this in mind", the bench said.
The stinging remarks came while the court was hearing a petition filed by children homes Chatravas and Arya orphanage challenging government's refusal to grant them license under the Women and Children's Institutions (Licensing) Act, 1956 and insisting on registration under the Juvenile Justice Act.
The Delhi government and union women and child development ministry opposed the plea saying that all children homes in the country have to be registered under the JJ Act 2006 which subject them to supervision, monitoring and periodic inspections by child welfare committee of the government even if they have licenses under any other law.
Arguing for the homes, senior lawyer Maninder Singh said "an institution which has licence under the Women and Children's Institutions (Licensing) Act, 1956 did not require registration under the JJ Act.
"The JJ Act has its own field and does not override the women and children's institutions act. Moreover JJ Act is not applicable to independent private philanthropic institutions but for those run by government", argued Singh.
The stand of the centre was that a clear policy framework for the entire country has been laid out and Women and Children Institutions (Licensing) Act has no value as it stood repealed even since the JJ Act came into being in 2006. But Singh said the option should be licensing under Women and Children's Institutions (Licensing) Act or Orphanage and other charitable institutions Act even if the JJ Act was applicable in a state.