New Delhi, Oct 30 :
The Supreme Court Thursday slammed the Bihar and Chhattisgarh governments for not furnishing proper information on missing children, including not filing police complaints in all the cases and steps taken to recover them.
A bench of Chief Justice H.L. Dattu, Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Arun Mishra noted with concern that while in Bihar, more than 20 percent of the missing children have not been traced, in Chhattisgarh the recovery of missing children was abysmally low at 33 percent.
The Bihar government told the court that 2,858 children were reported missing, and 2,241 have been recovered. At least 617 missing children were still untraced.
In the case of Chhattisgarh, counsel H.S. Phoolka – appearing for NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan – drew the attention of the court on variation in the figures given in the Rajya Sabha answer on missing children in the state with the one given to the court.
Phoolka told the court that while Chhattisgarh says 9,428 children have gone missing but police complaints have been registered in just 1,977 cases.
He said that the figures of missing children given in Rajya Sabha answer were more than 11,000.
Saying that the court would go by the figures given in the Rajya Sabha answer, Chief Justice Dattu told the counsel appearing for Chhattisgarh: “Either you are misleading the parliament or filing a false annexure with the affidavit before the court.”
Having recorded the presence of Bihar Chief Secretary Anjani Kumar and Director General of Police P.K. Thakur and their counterparts from Chhattisgarh, the court wanted to know why police complaints about the missing children, as directed by it, have not been registered in all the cases.
The court during the last hearing had asked the chief secretaries and DGPs to be present in court to answer their states’ failure to comply with the court’s directions on missing children.
The court wanted to know why in a large number of cases in Bihar, there were only diary entries in the police stations and not the complaints.
It also questioned Chhattisgarh for not registering first information reports (FIRs) in all the cases of missing children and just making diary entries.
The court directed the next hearing of the matter for Nov 13, and asked both Bihar and Chhattisgarh to make necessary amends and report to the court.