News : Set Up Child Helpline, Fill Up Committee Posts
Mumbai, India, May 4, 2016 -- The Bombay high court on Monday directed the Maharashtra government to set up a Child Helpline within two months and constitute the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR) within six months.
Hearing a public interest litigation filed by the Forum For Fairness in Education claiming that the posts of chairperson and members at the SCPCR were vacant since 2011, a division bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Prakash Naik set aside the existing procedure for setting up the commission. The HC has further directed the state to appoint special public prosecutors, who have been given specialised training, to handle offences that relate to crime against children.
The SCPCR, is a requirement under the 2005 law Commission for Protection of Child Rights Act that was enacted for speedy trial of offences against children or of violation of child rights. The SCPCR that comprises a chairperson and six members is tasked with conducting inquiries into cases of violation of child rights and recommend remedial measures. Advocate Siddharth Murarka, counsel for the Forum, claimed that the commission posts were vacant from 2011, when the terms of the chairperson and members expired. The secretary has been signing undated orders in violation of rules.
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The court called out the state for adopting a flawed process for making appointments to the SCPCR, and directed that a fresh process be initiated as per the rules. The state was also asked to fix the salary and other facilities for the chairperson and members of the commission as per the law-the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights provides for salary equivalent to a secretary to the Government of India, whereas Maharashtra government pays the commission between Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,000. The HC asked the state to issue advertisements for seeking applications to the posts in the commission.
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Published: Thursday, May 5, 2016
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