Delhi High Court directs to make use of Nirbhaya Fund to find out missing girls

 

Money from the Nirbhaya Fund should be allocated to make special units to rescue and rehabilitate missing girl children in the country, the Delhi High Court said on Monday.

“Trafficking of girl children and instances of sexual abuse, particularly of girl child, call for allocation of money from the Nirbhaya Fund inter alia for the formation of specialised units, which would work in coordination with the state police forces to implement Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) with the purpose of rescue and rehabilitation of girl children, who have gone missing or trafficked,” a bench of Justices S Muralidhar and IS Mehta said.

The bench stated this while hearing a matter pertaining to the missing children, wherein it has been examining ways and means to address the issue of tracing them and restoring them to their families.

The court said that such units should be constituted by the National Commission of Women and National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) on a priority basis, following which the final proposal will be placed before the Empowered Committee of the Ministry Women and Child Development (WCD).

“The Secretary, WCD, would call a meeting of all the above said bodies and file a report within four weeks,” the court said, thereby fixing the next date of hearing on December 19.

Appearing for the Centre, standing counsel Anil Soni informed the court that as many as 22 projects have been started from the “non-lapsable” Nirbhaya Fund, which was started in 2013.

In the affidavit submitted in the court by the WCD Ministry, it was stated that Rs 3,100 crore has been allocated to the Nirbhaya Fund till August this year and 22 proposals on women’s safety and security, with an estimated allocation of Rs 2,209.19 crore, has been recommended by the Empowered Committee.

During the course of hearing, counsel for the Delhi government, Rahul Mehra, said that the face recognition software will cost Rs 15 crore and that has to be given by the Centre, following which the court directed the latter to file a status report in this regard by the next date of hearing.

Appearing for the petitioner, senior counsel HS Phoolka said the data regarding the missing children be given to the Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA).

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