COVID-19 in children’s homes: SC seeks response from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Uttarakhand and Tripura

States were asked to file Affidavits by Friday in the suo motu case pertaining to the condition of children in protection, juvenile and foster or kinship homes amid the Coronavirus outbreak

Representative Image (Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@childimpactint)
Representative Image (Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@childimpactint)
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NH Web Desk

The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Uttarakhand and Tripura to file their respective Affidavits by Friday in its suo motu case pertaining to the condition of children in protection, juvenile and foster or kinship homes amid the Coronavirus outbreak, LiveLaw.in has reported.

A bench of Justices LN Rao, Hemant Gupta and S. Ravindra Bhat also directed the state of Uttar Pradesh to file an additional reply pertaining to the issue of apprehensions of COVID-19 cases at shelter homes in Kanpur, UP.

Further to this, court also appointed advocate Gaurav Aggarwala as Amicus Curaie and asked all counsel of state to submit their affidavits to him.

In this backdrop, bench adjourned the matter to July 10.

On June 11, the top court had taken note of 35 children testing positive for Coronavirus in a government-run shelter home in Royapurum, Chennai and sought a status report from the Government of Tamil Nadu and Secretary regarding reasons for spread of the contagion and steps taken to control its further spread.

A bench of Justices Nageswara Rao, Krishna Murari and S Ravindra Bhat had also sought status report from different state governments on steps taken to protect children in shelter homes from the deadly Novel Coronavirus and also compliance of its April 3 order.

In light of this, the Court also noted that it shall circulate a questionnaire which is to be communicated to the State Governments which Juvenile Justices Committees of states shall supply, providing requisite information sought for in the questionnaire before June 30, 2020.

"We intend to seek information from the State Governments in relation to the care and protection of children in conflict with law, we are circulating a questionnaire which is to be communicated to the state governments. The Juvenile Justices Committees of the High Courts shall also be supplied with the questionnaire which is annexed to this order," the court had stated.

The order had annexed the questionnaire detailing various heads. The order had stated, "This format will help us to review the challenges faced by the authorities, Child Welfare Committees, Juvenile Justice Boards and District Child Protection Units (CWCs, JJBs and DCPUs) in holding virtual sessions, restoring children back to families as well in following up to the constraints of the lockdown and develop measures to deal with these. The format will also enable the collection of good practices which may be useful to other states for replication."

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