The Delhi High Court on Tuesday asked the Delhi Government to formulate a training module of functioning for the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) jointly with the Delhi Judicial Academy. The high court was hearing a plea by an NGO alleging that one of the Child Welfare Committees (CWC) in the city has not been following the Juvenile Justice Act in letter and spirit. “We need to streamline this issue. Let Delhi government interact with Delhi Judicial Academy and formulate training module for CWC and same shall be place before the court,” a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said and listed the matter for December 18.
During the hearing, the court also perused a report filed by local commissoner (LC) and advocate Karuna Nandy, stating that the functioning of CWC seemed to be “somewhat bureaucratic” and not always in consonance with the letter and spirit of the law and in the best interest of the child.
The report said the CWC did not seem to formulate comprehensive individual care plans for every child.
“With regard to the sensitivity of the issue and the nature of the powers of the chairperson handling cases of trafficked children or children of sex workers, I recommend the matter to be expedited,” Nandy said.
The LC, who had conducted an inspection at CWC-II at Lajpat Nagar, said the committee did not seem to be aware of the CrPC provisions which gave them the power of a magistrate and recommended that Delhi Legal Services Authority and Delhi Judicial Academy should provide training on this aspect.
It was alleged in a plea by NGO Light Life Freedom that the CWC-II at Lajpat Nagar here was releasing children under its care to parents without following the procedure under the Act. As a result, six out of seven kids, who were recently sent away, had gone missing and the seventh was found living in a brothel.
The court had earlier sought the response of Delhi government, the district magistrate of south district as well as the CWC-II on the public interest litigation.
The petition had alleged that in another incident of some children being restored to their mothers, it was found that one of the ladies was in judicial custody in Tihar Jail on charges of trafficking of minor girls and the two kids released to her were missing.
A total of 18 children have gone missing in this manner, the NGO had alleged and sought an enquiry, headed by a retired judge, into the functioning of the CWC-II.
The NGO, represented by advocates Jyoti Aggarwal and Sanjeevni Aggarwal, sought dismissal or suspension of the chairperson and members of the CWC-II so that such orders are not passed by it again.
It alleged that the CWC-II was forcing it to admit the children under its care in government schools, instead of teaching them at its institute. It contended that when these children, many of whom are kids of sex workers, came to its home, they did not know reading or writing in Hindi or English.
As carried in IE