The Delhi High Court on Monday expressed serious concern over large number of children going missing in the Capital and sought to know what steps the Delhi Police took to deal with the "alarming" situation.
A bench of Chief Justice A.P. Shah and Justice Sanjeev Khanna had taken suo motu cognizance (by itself) of reports in newspapers that claimed that 2,210 children went missing in the Capital between June 1, 2008 and January 12, 2009 under mysterious circumstances.
As per reports, 17 children disappeared from the city on an average every day. “It’s an alarming situation. In the last six
months more than 2,000 children went missing,” the judges said directing the police to file its response.
The police, however, claimed that in majority of the cases the children run away from their homes for various reasons including elopement and they cannot be said to be in the category of missing children.
“We are more concerned about those missing children who are under eight years of age and we file FIRs straight away. As regards those above eight years we file only a DD entry. We file an FIR only when there is a complaint of kidnapping,” advocate Mukta Gupta, appearing for the police, contended. Not satisfied, the court asked the police to file its reply within three weeks.
“If a child does not return how the parents would know whether the child has gone away on his own or has been kidnapped if you don’t conduct investigation,” the court said noting that the actual figures might be higher “because FIR is not registered in all cases”.