Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Oct 31:
A leading child rights organisation has slammed the Odisha State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (OSCPCR) accusing it of total failure to protect the rights of the children in the State.
Railing against the ineffectiveness and malfunctioning of the Commission in providing justice to victims of child rights violation in the state, Odisha Child Rights Watch Convener Pradipta Nayak today said it had not registered a single case of child right violation till January 2013 since its inception in November 2010.
A majority of cases had been disposed of without a hearing, he alleged.
Quoting information obtained through RTI, Nayak said; “A total of 172 cases (155 in office and 17 in districts) have been disposed of without any hearing during February 2013 to April 2014.”
In many of these cases, the Commission chairperson first asked the concerned district Collectors for an action taken report (ATR) but later closed the cases after receiving the reports without any hearing, he said.
Not only have the victims failed to get justice, but cases of child rights violations have increased manifold due to apathetic attitude of the concerned officials, Nayak alleged.
Though the State government provides an average of Rs 1 crore, annually to the Commission, quasi-judicial body, for protection of child rights, not a single victim had been awarded any compensation in any of the cases so far, added the activist.
RTI activist Pradip Pradhan said the Commission disposed of an average of no more than 11 cases per month against the mandated minimum of 25-30 cases. He further alleged that in spite of the recommendation of State Information Commission, the OSCPCR had also failed to develop a website to provide any public documents on child right cases.
Highlighting the number of cases heard in Camp Court held in Sundargarh, Boudh and Kandhamal districts in February 2013, Pradhan said a total of 17 cases were disposed of in these district in just a single day, which was a travesty of justice.
The activists demanded a complete overhaul of the OSCPCR so as to ensure transparency and integrity in its functioning.
Among others, activists Pratap Sahu, Sanjukta Panigrahi, Akhand and Mahendra Parida were present on the occasion.