Supreme Court raps national and Bengal children protection panels over tussle
The Supreme Court on Monday said non-cooperation between National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (national commission) and West Bengal State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (state commission) have led to a state of affairs where institutions set up to protect children have virtually forsaken them, .
“It’s so sad! We start with a lament because institutions set up to protect children have virtually forsaken them in a fight over their so called jurisdictions,” the judgment which began on a poignant note said.
The dispute arose consequent to a tussle between the national commission and state commission in dealing with allegations of trafficking of orphaned children in Jalpaiguri, West Bengal.
The national commission, based on media reports had seized the matter and asked the additional director general of Police, CID, State of West Bengal (ADGP) to appear before it.
The ADGP, however, moved the Calcutta high court challenging the jurisdiction of the national commission in dealing with the matter submitting that the state commission was already seized of the issue. The HC stayed the proceedings initiated by the national commission which then moved the SC challenging the stay order.
The SC noted that these commissions which have been constituted under the commissions for protection of child rights act, 2005 exercise very important powers and they must function only for the protection and betterment of children and should not become sources of power, self-aggrandisement.