The Supreme Court on Thursday summoned the chief secretaries and the directors general of police of Bihar and Chhattisgarh for filing factually incorrect status reports on the number of missing children traced by the states.
The chief secretaries of two more states – Karnataka and Tripura – also have to be personally present on October 30 to explain their failure in filing affidavits on steps taken to comply with the SC’s directions. The apex court had, on January 17, 2013, made it mandatory for all states and union territories to immediately register an FIR in any missing children case.
The order came on a public interest litigation filed by the Bachpan Bachao Andolan run by Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi.
CJI HL Dattu expressed concern over the growing number of incidents of missing children and criticised most states for not complying with the SC guidelines on filing FIRs in such cases. He warned that the bench wouldn’t hesitate to initiate contempt cases against top officers of the state if such incidents occurred repeatedly.
According to the BBA, though 117,469 children went missing between 2008 and 2010, only around 20,000 FIRs were registered by the police.
“The world has acknowledged BBA’s efforts with Satyarthi receiving the Nobel Prize. But our own governments are sleeping over the SC guidelines on BBA’s petition,” BBA’s lawyer HS Phoolka told HT.
Delhi reported 5,809 cases of kidnapping and abduction of children in 2013, around 20% of the national total and second only to Uttar Pradesh, said the National Crime Records Bureau.