Supreme Court pulls up ministry for filing over 700-page document on inadequate orphanage facilities
The top court was hearing a PIL filed on the basis of a 2007 newspaper report alleging that orphanages in Tamil Nadu's Mahabalipuram, were reportedly involved in systematic sexual abuse of children.
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today pulled up the Centre for coming out with a bulky affidavit of over 700 pages on the issue of inadequate facilities for children living in orphanages and child care institutions and said it cannot waste everyone's time.
A bench of Justices Madan B Lokur, Kurian Joseph and Deepak Gupta said this when the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) came up with an over 700-page document.
"Why do you file such a big affidavit," the bench asked the counsel representing the Centre.
To this, the counsel responded that the affidavit was only of 10 pages and rest were annexures.
"Do not file so much. You are wasting your time and everybody else's time. The only person enjoying is the one who is doing photocopies. You file these 10 pages along with a chart only," the bench said and asked the ministry to file a status report within two weeks and said the matter be listed for hearing thereafter.
The apex court had on February 20 rapped the Kerala government for not ensuring adequate facilities to children living in orphanages and child care institutions there as mandated under the law.
It had noted that according to the affidavit filed by the state's chief secretary, several such institutions have stated that they cannot provide proper infrastructure to children living there.
The top court was hearing a PIL filed on the basis of a 2007 newspaper report alleging that orphanages in Tamil Nadu's Mahabalipuram, which were run by NGOs and government institutions, were reportedly involved in systematic sexual abuse of children.
The court had last year passed a slew of directions including setting up of a data base of children living in orphanages and child care institutions to ensure their safety and welfare.
It had directed the Centre, states and union territories to complete the registration of all child care institutions by the year-end and said the registration process should include a database of all children who are in need of care and protection and update it every month.
The court had also directed that all vacancies in State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR) be filled across the country by the end of 2017.