SC shocked over 2 lakh children ‘missing’ in survey on child care institutions

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today expressed shock at the discrepancy in two surveys reflecting a difference of around two lakh children staying in child care institutions and said it was “very, very disturbing” that such children were being “treated” as mere numbers.

The top court was shocked when it was told that as per a 2016-17 survey carried out at the directions of the Ministry of Women and Child Development, the number of children living in child care institutions (CCIs) was around 4.73 lakh, while the data filed in the court by the Government this March says it was about 2.61 lakh.

“It is not clear what has happened to the balance of around two lakh children. These children appear to be missing from the statistics,” a bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur said.

It also asked the Centre “how many children are missing in this country besides these two lakh” and said if the provisions of law were being implemented in “letter and spirit”, then child abuse incidents like those in Muzaffarpur and Deoria would not have happened. (AGENCIES)