A committee inquiring into the sale of three children exposed by a sting operation on television has found gasping holes in the implementation of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2000 in the capital.
Star Television had earlier this year shown an investigation on the sale of three children by one Chandra Shekar employed in Jahangirpuri home of Prayas.
Corroborating part of what was shown on television, the inquiry committee headed by NK Singhal, former Director General of Police, had termed the incident as an "aberration" on the part of Shekar. It also gave a clean chit to Prayas.
In its report submitted to the Women and Child Development ministry on November 10, the committee said, Shekar had a "good past record" and was "well spoken" about even by the children, who were under his care. "But, he could not resist the bait of heavy amount offered by the sting operators," the report stated.
Caught on camera, Shekar has been booked by Connaught Place police and has been dismissed from service by Prayas, the report said.
But, it was the Delhi Government, which was found to be lax in implementing the Act by the committee. "Relevant provisions of the Delhi Government rules under the Act, especially relating to reporting of children coming to or leaving the centres and the period of stay have not been followed strictly or uniformally," the report stated.
In its eight recommendations, the committee has asked the government to come out with a clear-cut policy regarding drop-in-shelters. They should be distinguished from long-term shelter homes, the report stated, while recommending amendments in the law to making shelters more safe for children.
The committee has also emphasised on better monitoring and assessment of functioning of shelter homes and constructing new homes at more secure locations. Another suggestion of the committee is counselling and vocational training facility for children in each home.
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