SC seeks details from Centre on funds for Child Care Institutions

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The Supreme Court today asked the Centre to file an affidavit within two weeks giving details about the funds made available to all states and Union Territories (UTs) for running Child Care Institutions (CCIs).

The top court also asked advocate Gaurav Agarwal, who has been appointed as amicus curiae to assist the court in the matter, to submit a note on the good practices that are being adopted by various states for the care and welfare of children.

A Bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta and S Ravindra Bhat said in its order, “Aishwarya Bhati, Additional Solicitor General appearing for the Union of India, requests for two weeks’ time to file an affidavit giving particulars of the funds to be made available to all state governments and UTs.”

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It said, “The amicus curiae is requested to prepare a note on the good practices that are being adopted by various states for the care and welfare of the children on the basis of which we propose to issue certain directions as sought for by him. The note may be circulated to all advocates on record of the states and UTs.”

The top court posted the matter for further hearing on August 13.

On July 15, Agarwal filed a note and sought directions of the court with regard to education of children in CCIs, contact with those released, review of their cases, need for institutionalisation and Covid-19 related measures.

The top court had noted that in Andhra Pradesh, which had 27,243 children in CCIs before the lockdown due to the pandemic, have restored 24,611 children with their parents/guardians and at present there are 2,632 children in care homes.

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After perusing the report of Andhra Pradesh, the court had said only 70.06 per cent of the proposed funds for 2019-2020 were received by the state and the status pertaining to the balance funds was not clear.

Similar submissions were made by Bihar, Delhi, Chhattisgarh and Gujarat with regard to restoration of children to their parents or guardians.

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