The Madras High Court on Friday, expressed dissatisfaction over the steps taken by the Tamil Nadu government in cases of child abduction in Tamil Nadu. It further ordered the government to submit details on what steps were taken to retrieve the missing children.
The case of missing children first came to court in 2016 when MB Nirmal of Exnora Foundation filed a habeas corpus petition to trace two children who were abducted while they were sleeping with their parents on the city's railway platforms. The bench had further expanded the scope of the petition, and called for the entire list of child missing cases till that particular year. It then referred to a 2012 Supreme Court judgment, which stated the modus operandi when handling child missing cases where cases not cracked in four months, will have to be transferred to the anti-human trafficking unit of CB-CID.
The bench had also directed the formation of exclusive sub-units of anti-trafficking wing in cities and districts with adequate manpower.
Following this, the Tamil Nadu government agreed to Pay Rs 3 lakh as compensation for families of children missing for more than seven years. Similarly, those with child missing cases pending for one to seven years were to get Rs 2 lakh.
But when the case came up for hearing, the government's counsel submitted that they have set up a fund for compensating parents for missing children and that they had given Rs 10,000 to two families. The police, too, claimed investigations were underway into cases of abducted children.
The bench comprising Justice Sathyanarayanan and Justice Seshasayan however were not agreeable to these submissions.
They stated that both the government and the police are showing no urgency in the matter. They expressed dissatisfaction over the delay in compensation and the amount allocated.
The court has now demanded to know how many cases have been filed by the CB CID wing, how many are being investigated and how many children have been rescued.
The government has been told to submit the information to court on August 24.
As per SCRB records, 14,716 children were reported missing between 2011 and 2015. Of these police have traced 14,174 of them while 535 children are yet to be found.