The Supreme Court on Thursday issued notices to the Union of India and all the states and union territories on a public interest litigation petition which alleged that as many as 55,000 children went missing in the country between 2009 and 2011.
The petition filed by advocate Sarwa Mitra has sought a direction to the Centre and states to trace the 55,000 missing children. After briefly hearing the submissions of Mitra, the Bench comprising Justice Aftab Alam and Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai issued directions for the issuance of the notices.
Mitra told the Bench that innocent and unfortunate children were being kidnapped by gangsters and the state executive machinery had miserably failed to trace them. These kidnapped children were compelled into flesh trade where they were treated as slaves.
In some other cases, the children’s body organs were removed forcibly and sold in the organ bazaar, he alleged. With the result, these unfortunate children were left to die painfully, resulting in violation of Articles 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution of India, the counsel added.
Mitra stated that in some cases limbs of these children were amputated and they were forced into begging. The police had failed to investigate the cases of kidnapping. It was a denial of right to life and liberty to these innocent children, the counsel averred. The legislature was bound to enact stricter laws and it was high time the apex court reviewed the existing laws for the welfare of children, he added. In some instances, these kids were also forced into prostitution and smuggling.