NEW DELHI: Seven states were given a six-week ultimatum by the Supreme Court on Wednesday asking them to respond to reports of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and National Commission for Women (NCW), which said that incidents of trafficking of women and children are high in these states. A Bench comprising Justices K G Balakrishnan, Tarun Chatterjee and D K Jain asked the chief secretaries of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Goa to file their responses within six weeks failing which the court would “pass appropriate orders”.
The court was hearing a PIL filed by NGO ‘Shakti Vahini’ alleging that largescale trafficking of girls and women for prostitution purposes cast a shadow on their human rights as well as fundamental rights. The states had filed responses to the petition but had ignored the directive of the apex court to respond to the reports of NHRC and NCW presenting a grim scenario. The Bench said it would be difficult for the court to appreciate the problem in the correct perspective and pass appropriate orders if the affected states did not submit their suggestions to eradicate this menace hounding the children and women in the country, especially the tribal areas. Amicus curiae and senior advocate U U Lalit said that the problem has assumed dangerous proportions.