The Supreme Court on Friday slammed the Centre for its "casual" approach towards missing children and imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 for not complying with its directions.
"Children are missing in the country and you (Centre) cannot be so casual in your approach. Your secretary is just writing letters. We are extremely dissatisfied," a social justice bench of justices Madan B Lokur and U U Lalit said.
The court also expressed displeasure over non-filling up of vacancies, including for the post of Chairperson of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR).
The bench asked the union women and child development ministry to inform it about the status of missing children and those recovered in a state-wise tabular chart as on March 31.
Referring to the statutory provision on vacancies, the bench said the Chairperson of NCPCR and its members were required to be appointed within 90 days of the posts falling vacant.
"More than six months have gone by, you have not appointed the chairperson. This is disgusting," it said.
Pointing out that the posts for members of NCPCR were lying vacant for last one-and-half years, it asked the Centre to do the needful expeditiously.
"As regards the appointment of Members of the NCPCR, it appears that no steps have been taken in this regard as yet. We direct the secretary in the ministry of women and child development (Nodal Officer) to take steps in this regard within a period of 30 days so that the process of appointment of members of the NCPCR is also concluded expeditiously," the bench had said.
The bench, which had hailed the efforts of DU's Faculty of Management Studies (FMS) for improving website www.trackthemissingchild.gov.in, was also annoyed that the government, as on date, has not paid Rs 1 lakh as token of appreciation to the FMS in pursuance of its direction.
"Does it take two months to pay Rs one lakh?. This is too much," it said