Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur)
SC gives Centre more time to apprise about scheme
WEST BENGAL AND DELHI ARE YET TO UPLOAD DATA OF SUCH CHILDREN ON ‘BAL SWARAJ’, SAID ADDITIONAL SOLICITOR GEN
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.