New Delhi, Dec 5 (PTI) The Centre informed the Supreme Court Wednesday that the first draft of child protection policy, to curb the instances of abuse of minors in shelter homes and child care institutions, was ready. Also Read - Black Fungus Declared Epidemic in Delhi - What Does This Mean?

The government told a bench of Justices Madan B Lokur, Deepak Gupta and Hemant Gupta that once the child protection policy is be finalised, it will act as a direction to the states and stakeholders involved in running of shelter homes. Also Read - Delhi Likely to Face Water Shortage For a Week. Here's Why

The apex court, which had earlier asked the government to consider framing a child protection policy, told the Centre that “voluminous” data collected during social audits on child care institutions across the country should be analysed by taking assistance of professionals so that gaps could be identified and steps could be taken to fill them up. Also Read - Japanese Women's Team Pulls out of Asian Wrestling

The joint secretary of Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD), who was present in the court, told the court that analysis of data collected by the ministry and National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) was being carried out under her supervision.

The officer said as and when required, the ministry was taking the assistance of experts and professionals and all stake holders, including members of civil societies, were consulted in the process.

“After you do data analysis and come out with the gaps, there has to be some action on it. You come out with a report based on data analysis and it can be like a vision document or a plan which can be followed in years to come,” the bench told the officer.

The bench told the ministry to take into consideration the suggestions given by lawyer Aparna Bhat, who is assisting the court as an amicus curiae in the matter related to abuse of children at orphanages and child care institutions.

Bhat said apart from mathematical analysis of collected data, the ministry should also carry out the sociological analysis.

On May 5 last year, the apex court had 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, state governments and Union Territories to complete the registration of all child care institutions by the year-end.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.