The Supreme Court said on Friday that no unregistered NGO would be permitted to run children homes as it expressed apprehension that some of these too may be engaged in child trafficking.
Asking the central government to ensure that shutters were pulled down on the children homes being run by unregistered NGOs, the social justice bench of Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit said that the child trafficking a very serious offence under the law and against humanity.
"Some of the girls are used in trafficking and it is possible that that some of the NGOs are involved in the trafficking and if the state is not checking it then it too is complicit.
"Be clear about it. Not a single unregistered NGO will have a children's home," the court told Additional Solicitor General P.S. Patwalia appearing for the central government.
"It is better than being trafficked," the court said as Patwalia said that in the event of asking the unregistered NGOs to shut down their children homes, these children will have to be moved out.
Stressing there could be no compromise on the safety of children, the court said that "child trafficking is a very serious offence in law and trafficking is a very serious offence against humanity".
Itss observation came in the course of the hearing of a PIL by Sampurna Behura where an affidavit filed by the central government revealed that in Assam, there was a larger inflow and outflow of girls in the children homes compared to boys.
Confronting the figures, the court asked Patwalia what were the corresponding figures for the boys leaving children homes.
In indictment of the insensitivity of the authorities who were totally unaware of the whereabouts of a girl after she leaves children's home, Justice Lokur observed: "Nobody knows that."
His riposte came as Patwalia told the court: "When they move out, they may have joined their families."
The court also asked the ASG as to what he meant by "When they move out".
Asking the central government to pull up its socks, the court said that "so far what you have been doing is writing letters. Much more has to be done. There are enough people to keep. There are thousands of NGOs which are genuine and willing to help children" in distress.