Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur)

SC gives Centre more time to apprise about scheme

- Press Trust of India


NEW DELHI: The Centre told the Supreme Court on Monday that it needed some more time to apprise the court of the modalities on the recently launched ‘PM-CARES for Children’ scheme for kids orphaned by Covid-19. The National Commission of Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) said West Bengal and Delhi have not been cooperatin­g and have not provided latest data on the number of children who have lost their parents due to coronaviru­s.

A bench of Justices L N Rao and Aniruddha Bose was informed by Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati, appearing for the Centre, that they are in consultati­on with states and ministries to work out the modalities of the ‘PM-CARES for Children’ scheme. “We need some more time to apprise the court about the modalities of the scheme as the consultati­on is still going on. We have made district magistrate­s directly responsibl­e for the children who have been abandoned or have been orphaned,” Bhati said. The bench said that it is inclined to give some more time to the Centre to formulate the modalities of the scheme and how they will implement it.

Additional Solicitor General K M Nataraj, appearing for NCPCR, told the bench it was facing difficulti­es with West Bengal and Delhi, who are not uploading the data of such children on ‘Bal Swaraj’.

Advocate Chirag Shorff, appearing for Delhi government, said their data is provided solely by Child Welfare Committees (CWC), while in other states different department­s provide data to the district magistrate­s from where it is uploaded.

The Delhi government last week wrote to different department­s like revenue and police and sought data from them, he said. The bench said that Delhi should have a task force at district level like other states and upload the informatio­n as soon as they get it and the task force should attend to the immediate needs of the children.

“Don’t wait for orders of the court and implement all the relevant schemes,” the bench told the counsels of Delhi and West Bengal government.

It told the West Bengal counsel that the court has in its order stated that informatio­n regarding children, who have been orphaned after March 2020, is needed.

“All states have understood the directive properly but how can only West Bengal not understand the order,” the bench said, adding that the state has to direct the authoritie­s concerned to provide all the data about the children.

Nataraj said by providing the necessary informatio­n, there will be continuous monitoring and it would help in protecting the rights of children.

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