New Delhi, Apr 10 (PTI) The Kerala Government today informed the Supreme Court that there were around 1,165 child care institutions in the state, out of which 790 were registered and 165 had closed down.
The state told a bench comprising justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta that 42 such institutions do not wish to continue, while 89 are unregistered.
The court was hearing a PIL filed on the basis of a 2007 newspaper report which had alleged that orphanages in Tamil Nadu’s Mahabalipuram, which were run by the NGOs as well as government institutions, were reportedly involved in systematic sexual abuse of children.
The counsel appearing for Kerala referred to an affidavit filed by the chief secretary of state in pursuance to the apex court’s direction and said they have given the details sought by the bench.
However, the bench pointed out that it had also directed the state to apprise it as to from where the children residing in these institutions have come and for how long they have been in such institutions.
The court fixed the matter for further hearing on July 11.
Meanwhile, one of the advocates appearing in the matter claimed there were discrepancies in the figures given by the state and the details furnished earlier by the Centre pertaining to Kerala.
The apex court had earlier pulled up Kerala for not ensuring adequate facilities to children living in orphanages and child care institutions there as mandated under the law.
The court, while making it clear that the state and such institutions would have to provide facilities to the children as mandated under the Act, had asked Kerala to file an affidavit indicating the number of children living in such institutions and also the facilities provided to them.
The apex court had last year passed a slew of directions including setting up of a data base of children living in orphanages and child care institutions to ensure their safety and welfare.
It had directed the Centre, states and Union territories to complete the registration of all child care institutions by year-end and had said the registration process should also include a database of all children who are in need of care and protection and update it every month.
The court had also directed that all vacancies in State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR) be filled across the country by the end of 2017.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.