SC pulls up Centre, states over missing children
The NGO in its PIL had alleged that over 1.7 lakh children had gone missing in the country between January 2008 and January 2010, many of whom were kidnapped for trafficking in flesh trade and child labour.
Quoting statistics including from National Crime Research Bureau, the NGO had said during that period, 1,17,480 children had gone missing in 392 districts in the country and out of these, 41,546 were yet to be traced.
The apex court disagreed with the reason of the Gujarat government that the Chief Secretary was recently appointed and, therefore, he could not appear before it.
"Whether he had taken charge recently, doesn't matter. The order is passed by this court and you are required," the Bench said.
It also took exception to the plea seeking exemption from personal appearance of the Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu.
"We will issue non-bailable warrant next time," it said.
"What do you think? We pass orders just for the sake of passing orders?," the court asked.
The Bench rejected the plea for personal exemption of the Chief Secretaries of these states, saying, "Inspite of our January 17 order, the said three officials have once again thought it fit to treat the matter with extreme casualness as if the order passed by this court has no meaning."
The judges made it clear that they have to appear personally and not through their representatives.
"As far as other states are concerned, we are giving them last opportunity to file their status report," the court said.
The Bench also took exception to the submission by the West Bengal government counsel that the status report has not been filed as there was no instruction.
"Why don't you wake up from your slumber? Why are you appearing in the matter?," the court said while also taking strong exception to the failure of the Delhi government to file the status report on the issue.
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