FIR in All Cases of Missing Children

BACHPAN BACHAO ANDOLAN                  Petitioner(s)
UNION OF INDIA & ORS.                             Respondent(s)
(With appln(s) for exemption from filing O.T. and office report)
Date: 17/01/2013  This Petition was called on for hearing today.

 UPON hearing counsel the Court made the following:

 This matter has been listed today for  a  follow-up  of  the directions given earlier regarding the filing of status  reports  by the  different  States  and   Union   Territories.    Despite   such directions, till today only the States of Punjab,  Chhattisgarh  and U.P., have filed their status reports.
 From the appearances given today, it appears that out of the various States and Union Territories, five are yet to file any  kind of appearance whatsoever.  Neither has any  Vakalatnama  been  filed nor has anybody appeared on their behalf, nor has any status  report been filed.  Although, the writ petition involves a matter  of  some concern regarding missing children, different States have failed  to treat the matter with the seriousness it deserves.  Let  the  matter be listed once again after two weeks (05.02.2013).
Time to file status reports by the States, who  are  yet  to file their reports or yet to appear, is extended till the next  date (05.02.2013).
Ms. Anitha Shenoy, learned  Advocate,  appears  and  submits that she has already filed Vakalatnama on  behalf  of  the  National Legal Services  Authority  and  that  the  said  Authority  will  be submitting its comprehensive response to the  writ  petition  within the aforesaid period.    She also submits that she will ensure  that the State of Karnataka is duly  represented  and  files  its  status report within the next date.
On the next date, the Chief  Secretaries  of  the  State  of Arunachal Pradesh, State of Goa, State of Gujarat, State  of  Orissa and State of Tamil Nadu, are directed to be present in the Court  at 10.30 a.m., to explain as to why the matter  has  not  been  treated the seriousness it deserves.
Apart from the above, it has been submitted by Ms. Shobha,learned  Advocate,  appearing  for   the   National   Human   Rights Commission, that two interim directions may be given with regard  to these matters, namely, (1) mandatory recording of First  Information Report with regard to missing children and, (2) formation of Special Juvenile Police Units in the different States,  in  accordance  with the provisions of Section 63  of  the  Juvenile  Justice  (Care  and Protection of Children) Act, 2000, as amended in  2006,  hereinafter referred to as the “Juvenile Justice Act”.
As far as the first submission is concerned, it appears  to fully justified, since filing of a first information report would activate the police authorities in taking active steps  to  try  and trace the missing child.   Accordingly, we direct  that  in  case  a complaint with regard to any missing children is made  in  a  policestation, the same should be reduced into a First Information  Reportand appropriate  steps  should  be  taken  to  see  that  follow  up investigation is taken up immediately thereafter.

We also agree with Ms. Shobha’s second submission and are ofthe view that the States should put the same in place in  the  event this menace of missing children or trafficking of children is to  be reduced.  Accordingly, having regard to the fact that  the  Juvenile Justice Act was enacted in 2000, we direct each State to  set  up  a Special Juvenile Police Unit within two months from date, if not set up already.  For a start, the State should ensure that there is one officer of the said Special Juvenile Police Unit stationed at every police station, in accordance with the provisions of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Rules, 2007.
Let copies of this order be made available by the Registry to the learned Advocates-on-Record for the petitioner, the Union of India, as also the National Human Rights Commission, for necessary follow up action.
The Chief Secretaries of the different States shall cause these directions to be circulated to all the police stations within their jurisdiction.
 Since the Ministry of Women and Child Welfare, as  also  the Ministry of Social Welfare, will have  a  part  to  play  in  giving effect to these directions, on the oral prayer made on behalf of the petitioner, the said two Ministries are  added  as  parties  through their respective Secretaries.
Let copies of the Rule issued on the writ petition, be  also served on the added respondents, through  Mr.  D.S.  Mahra,  learned Advocate-on-Record for the Union of India.
(Chetan Kumar)                        (Juginder Kaur)
Court Master                             |Assistant Registrar
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