Delhi HC raps Centre over delay in furnishing data on missing children, directs work on ‘war footing’

By: | Published: May 10, 2018 10:29 AM

The Delhi High court on Wednesday came down hard on the Centre over its delay in furnishing details of missing children to Delhi Police and said that the government must initiate work on a "war footing" to reunite the kids with their families.

Delhi HC raps Centre over delay in furnishing data on missing children, directs work on ‘war footing’. (PTI)

The Delhi High court on Wednesday came down hard on the Centre over its delay in furnishing details of missing children to Delhi Police and said that the government must initiate work on a “war footing” to reunite the kids with their families.

Rapping the Ministry of Women and Child Development over the delay, a division bench of Justices S Muralidhar and S Mehta asked the ministry to furnish the details immediately to Delhi Police as it is probing the case. The court observed that there was “lack of seriousness” on its part with regard to the issue.

“It is the duty of the WCD Ministry to cooperate with Delhi police in ensuring that missing children of this country are located at the earliest,” the division bench said. The court also added that the ministry has no valid reason for the delay in furnishing the data.

The court had on May 1 asked the Centre to provide electronic access to Delhi Police to complete data which it has in its control.

The division bench also refused a proposal by the government to grant a month’s time to enable the Delhi Police ZIPNET application. The said application will be used in providing electronic access to data on the issue.

“I don’t understand why they need time and is it so complicated to give data to the Delhi Police,” the court said.

The court further sought the presence of a senior official of National Informatics Centre (NIC) during the next hearing on May 16. The court has asked the NIC to explain why the application cannot be developed in a fortnight so that the police can get data on missing children.

The move comes after the Centre’s counsel Anil Soni and the Joint Secretary of WCD Ministry told the division bench that ministry with the help of NIC will create an application for electronic transfer of details from the TrackChild portal to Delhi police on a daily basis.

The details regarding the missing children were sought by Delhi Police after the High Court had assigned them to test run a Facial Recognition System (FRS). The FRS will be helpful in tracing and rescuing the missing children.

The WCD in an affidavit had told the court last month that Delhi Police, on a trial run, had used the FRS on 45,000 children staying in several children’s homes. The ministry further said that Delhi Police was successful in recognising 2,930 children between April 6 and April 10.

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