Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: The Bench comprising of Madan B. Lokur, Deepak Gupta and KM Joseph, JJ., in its order regarding the horrific chain of events that transpired in the shelter home in State of Bihar, had issued a few directions in its earlier order and has again expressed deep concern in this regard on hearing out the submissions of the learned Amicus Curiae.

In the present order, the Supreme Court bench clearly stated that the point of concern majorly is about the protection of children, particularly girls in homes run by NGOs. The learned Amicus Curiae has submitted that:

  • NIMHANS, Bengaluru should address the mental and psychiatric health of the children in shelter home.
  • Clinical and Medical aspect to be addressed by All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Patna.
  • Rehabilitation and re-integration of the children should be left to be addressed by TISS.

All the above-stated suggestions of the Amicus Curiae were accepted by the Supreme Court and the bench directed all the above authorities to prepare a brief course of action and place it on record. Further, the Court required the Ministry of Women and Child Development to inform the steps to be taken in order to ensure that the sexual abuse of children does not take place in the shelter homes and other child care homes across the country.

The Bench reiterated its discussion in regard to no publication of the photographs of the victims of sexual abuse in electronic, print and social media. Also, no interviews of such victims should take place. Another point noted was the revelation of the victim’s identity by one of the accused’s wife in the Muzaffarpur incident for which Amicus Curiae shall disclose all the other names who have done so, and in accordance to law appropriate action shall be taken against them.

The matter is listed for 14-08-2018. [Sampurna Behrua v. Union of India, 2018 SCC OnLine SC 928, Order dated 07-08-2018]

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: In the petition highlighting the alarming increase in the use of drugs and alcohol among children in India, the Court said that these are matters which should not be brushed under the carpet. The authorities should consider how children should be sensitized, having due regard to the age and stage of the child, of the dangers of drug use, the necessity to report drug use and the need to develop resistance to prevailing peer and social pressures. The 3-judge bench of T.S. Thakur, CJ and A.M. Khanwilkar and Dr. D.Y. Chandrachud, JJ listed the below mentioned immediate measures to be taken up by the Union of India:

  • Formulation of a national action plan for children;
  • Creation of a module containing an appropriate curriculum for children of all age groups in order to keep them away from drugs, alcohol and tobacco;
  • Setting up of de-addiction centres;
  • Establishing a standard operating procedure on enforcing the provisions of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 particularly Sections 77 and 78; and
  • Implementing the action plan with the national policy on narcotic drugs and psychotropic substance which has been approved by the Union Cabinet.

Taking note of the recent reports both of official and private agencies which indicate that there has been a substantial increase in the prevalence of use and abuse of substances in young children, the Court directed the Union Government to:

  • Complete a national survey and generate a national data base within a period of six months;
  • Formulate and adopt a comprehensive national plan within four months, which will among other things also address the areas of immediate concern noted earlier; and
  • Adopt specific content in the school curriculum under the aegis of NEP.

[Bachpan Bachao Andolan v. Union of India, 2016 SCC OnLine SC 1467, decided on 14.12.2016]