SC asks states to appoint members of child rights protection panels

supreme court

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday gave four weeks time to the states to appoint Chairperson and other members of the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights as provided under the Commission for the Protection of Child Rights Act.

Noting the non-compliance of the 20015 Act’s Section 18, which provides for appointment of the Chairperson and its members, a bench of Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta imposed a cost of Rs 20,000 on each of the non-compliant states that would be deposited with the top court’s legal aid society.

Section 18 further holds that “the Chairperson shall be appointed on the recommendation of a three Member Selection Committee constituted by the State Government under the chairmanship of the Minister in-charge of the Department dealing with children”.

Pointing out that there were absolutely no guidelines about who can be the member of the SCPCR, the bench wondered “if a man going on the road can be appointed as a member”.

Observing that it was a serious matter in the sense that parliament has passed a law, the bench, taking exception to the approach of non-complaint states, observed that their stance was akin to “let your Parliament do wjhatever it likes, we will do whatever we like”.

The court’s observation came in the course of the hearing of a PIL by Sampurna Behura who is seeking the enforcement of child-centric laws.

The court gave four weeks time to appoint Chairperson and the members of the state panels even as Additional Solicitor General P.S. Patwalia urged the bench initiate the contempt proceedings against non-complaint States.

He told the bench that the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights have been set up in all states, but the states were not telling the Central government about their compositions.

“We sought details on March 1, again wrote on March 16, followed by email and telephonic calls and they are virtually acting as if they were doing us a favour,” he said.