The Supreme Court Thursday has directed the Chief Secretary of Madhya Pradesh to appear personally on the next date of hearing after noting that the state had not filed any details on the number of “missing” children or the number of children recovered despite court orders.
During a hearing on the PIL filed by the Bachpan Bachao Andolan regarding missing children in the country, the bench of Chief Justice of India H L Dattu, Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice A K Sikri took note of data submitted by senior advocate H S Phoolka, appearing on behalf of the NGO. According to Phoolka, who got the data from the website of National Crime Records Bureau, over 23,000 children had gone missing in Madhya Pradesh since 2011. Of these, over 11,000 children went missing in 2013 alone.
The court then ruled, “Chief Secretary be present and file affidavit on number of missing children and the number of children traced”.
The Chief Secretaries and Directors General of Police for Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Assam were also directed to trace within four weeks the “missing” children as per their affidavits.
The affidavit filed by the Bihar government stated that it had traced 169 “missing” children in one week after the directions issued by the Supreme court on October 30. Over 460 children were still “missing” in Bihar.
For Assam, the number of “missing children” is over 2000, while Chhattisgarh has informed the court that over 1300 children remain untraced in the state.