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Cloud over WCD ministry selections

Selection of a lost Congress candidate from Mumbai and former boss of Women and Child Development (WCD) minister Krishna Tirath's husband as members of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has resulted in further delay in having a full-fledged panel six years after being set up. Chetan Chauhan reports.

delhi Updated: Nov 03, 2010 01:02 IST
Chetan Chauhan

Selection of a lost Congress candidate from Mumbai and former boss of Women and Child Development (WCD) minister Krishna Tirath's husband as members of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has resulted in further delay in having a full-fledged panel six years after being set up.

The WCD ministry had selected four persons as members of the commission to work with chairperson Shanta Sinha from November. Their appointment, however, is in a tizzy as new information revealed that at least two persons concealed vital information in their bio-data submitted to the ministry.

Vinod Kumar Tikoo, whose name was recommended for the panel by Rajya Sabha member Karan Singh, did not reveal that he was a banker and claimed to be a child-care specialist.

When confronted, Tikoo said he had worked in Indian Overseas Bank till his retirement after obtaining a master's degree in child and community development from Delhi University.

Tikoo was also manager of Rajendra Nagar branch of the bank, where Tirath's husband also worked. He did not reply to further queries.

Inquiries also revealed that Dr Yogesh Dube, who is among the six selected, had contested and lost the assembly elections from Mumbai on Congress ticket in 2009. Dube did not inform the ministry about this. In his resume, he claimed association with many child welfare associations in Maharashtra and UP.

The members' selection was challenged in Delhi High Court by NGO Pratidhi's Raj Mandal Prasad, who also applied for the post. The case was disposed off on Monday after the ministry citied conflict of interest but assured that fresh revelations against the selected members will be examined before notifying the final names.

Government officials on Tuesday did not rule out change in final panel of the selected members. "We are looking into the allegations," an official said.

While making the selection, the ministry overlooked suggestions made by chairperson Sinha. They included child right experts such as Harsh Mander, member of National Advisory Council, Dr Vinod Rainia, a child specialist and Dr Vandana Prasad, who works with Breastfeeding Network of India.