The Supreme Court of India has take Suo Motu Cognizance about the COVID-19 scare, it has directed all the concerned authorities where the main interests lies with child protection.
The Supreme Court has taken Suo Motu about the COVID-19 and it hereby sees the need to protection and well-being of children. It has directed the concerned authorities with the measure to protect children as they fall under the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015. The Supreme Court has made a statement saying “In these circumstances, it was felt that the interest of these children should be looked into. Interest of these children all of whom fall within the ambit of Juvenile Justice (care and protection of children) Act, 2015 should be protected and to prevent the same, the following directions are issued”[i]. The directions were given to various authorities concerned with child protection. Few of them are mentioned below,
Child welfare Committees:
The Supreme Court has directed the child welfare committees to take all the precautionary measures by conduction inquires and inspection. The author must establish telephonic connection with the children who were sent home and an online desk will be started for the children to reach out to. A regular videoconference has to be made for knowing the wellbeing of the child and make sure that they do not fall prey for the stress, and violence either sexual or mental.
Juvenile justice Boards and Children Courts:
The Court has asked the above authorities to release the children on bail who were in observation homes, and the children shall be sent out with a genuine reason. Online methods shall be used for fast disposal of cases.
Every state government was directed to inform all the Child Care Institutes and to the people who work there. State Government has been directed to ensure that all the necessary provisions have been provided. The Court asked to make sure to have enough supplements like sanitizers, hand wash, and masks.
Child Care Institutes:
All the Child Care Institutes have been directed to use the government helpline numbers on COVID-19 [1075 and 1800-112-545] and report if any children develop any symptoms of the coronavirus. The Child Car Institutes was also asked to screen children on a regular basis and effective quarantine.
1. The Supreme Court of India has taken Suo Motu cognizance in COVID-19 scare and directed all the authorities to take necessary measure to protection children.
2. The directions were passed by Hon’ble Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Hon’ble Justice Deepak Gupta.
3. The authorities which the directions were sent to were
4. Child Welfare Committees
5. Juvenile Justice Board and Children Courts
6. State Governments
7. Child Care Institutes
8. The Government Helpline number for coronavirus is [1075 and 1800-112-545].
World Health Organization ahs itself mentioned that persons above 50 years and children below 10 years have more chances to get affected with the virus. Few PIL’s were also filed before the Supreme Court requesting for the necessary protection of the children and providing them with all the provisions. It’s appreciative of the Supreme Court directing the authorities as immediate provisions will apply now.
Edited by J. Madonna Jephi
Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje
[i] Shruti Mahajan, Supreme Court takes suo motu cognizance of COVID-19 scare in child protection, foster homes; passes slew of directions for prevention Bar and Bench – Indian Legal news, https://www.barandbench.com/news/litigation/supreme-court-takes-suo-motu-cognizance-of-covid-19-scare-in-child-protection-foster-homes-passes-slew-of-directions-for-prevention (last visited Apr 4, 2020).