In a step to trace out a large number of missing children from Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh, the Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday directed both the states as well as UT to explore the possibility of working out a joint mechanism in coordination with one another.
A division bench comprising acting chief justice MM Kumar and justice Alok Singh also directed the authorities concerned to display the photographs of missing children at railway stations, airports and bus stands within a week and to file the status report before July 24.
The directions came during the resumed hearing on a bunch of petitions filed by Lawyers for Human Rights International and others. The NGO had sought directions for formulating special cells at state/district level in which specially trained police officials should be posted for dealing with cases of missing persons only.
The bench said that nothing had been placed on record by both the states as well as UT to show that photographs of missing children were published in newspapers or shown in electronic media prominently.
Amicus curiae (friend of court) Anil Malhotra said, "Unless there is an effective follow-up and check mechanism for implementing guidelines and advisories, the problem will remain unresolved. Creation of an effective control mechanism under a composite integrated statutory body like the state commission for protection of children is a must."
Taking cognizance of the action taken by Haryana police in missing children's cases, the bench said that when a boy or girl goes missing there was no question of recording a daily diary report like in case of cognizable offences.
The bench also directed the authorities concerned to comply with the directions issued by the Supreme Court dated November 14, 2002 in case of 'Hori Lal vs Commissioner of Police, New Delhi'.
The bench also issued directions to the authorities to consider the suggestions given by Anil Malhotra and public prosecutor Sukant Gupta. The directions were also passed to both the states, UT and CBI to file their report a week in advance before the next date of hearing.