New Delhi: : Following the gruesome Nithari serial murders — mostly of missing children — the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has decided to formulate guidelines for the police to tackle cases of missing persons throughout the country.
Acting chairperson of NHRC Justice Shivraj V. Patil said “the Commission would soon deliberate on this important human rights matter and issue a set of guidelines for the police.” The Commission, he said, could recommend what efforts the police must make in tracing the missing persons.
Criticising the government for neglecting children, Patil said the budget for “children’s causes” in India was almost “negligible.” “This amounts to hypocrisy. Why are we feeling ashamed of allocating liberal funds for children?” he said while concluding a two-day conference on juvenile justice system.
The conference attended by legal experts and officials from states and the Centre explored loopholes into the juvenile justice system in the country.
Patil said since the implementation of juvenile justice laws by most states was tardy, the NHRC would play a more pro-active role in ensuring the monitoring of their implementation. To begin with, the Commission would call a meeting of all NGOs working for children’s rights to focus on their role in acting as the watchdog for implementation of the plethora of laws India has on children.
The Commission, he said, would also crack the whip on the states that are dragging their feet on implementation of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Act, 2006. The amended law makes it mandatory for the states to set up Juvenile Justice Boards and protection homes at district levels.
The conference strongly recommended that justice for juveniles should be completely delinked from the mainstream justice since “children cannot be treated as offenders.” Patil even suggested that juveniles should be let out on bail on furnishing personal bonds and saved from being put into institutionalised custody for long.”
Another key suggestion at the conference was about the need to involve children in deciding policies and laws that effect them directly.