NEW DELHI: The Centre on Tuesday overrode a blanket order issued by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights’ (NCPCR) a few weeks ago to send all inmates of care institutions in eight states, including Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, back to their parents.
It informed the Supreme Court that no inmate would be repatriated without proper scrutiny of the support system, as per the requirements under the Juvenile Justice (JJ) Act. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, submitted before a bench headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao that as per law, a child also cannot be kept in a care home forever.
But the NCPCR’s order that all children living in care homes in eight states be sent back to their families, would not be implemented. The NCPCR fiat was meant to improve the living conditions of children and was not mandatory, he reasoned.
“The children must be produced before the Child Welfare Committee to explore further welfare needs. They will not be sent home without assessment. It’s not an en masse repatriation,” he said.