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HC asks police about measures taken under SOPs

HC asks police about measures taken under SOPs
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The Delhi High Court has directed the police to inform it about the followup steps taken under the Standard Operating Procedures SOPs by it on recovery of missing children

‘Take steps to trace missing kids promptly’

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has directed the police to inform it about the follow-up steps taken under the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) by it on recovery of missing children.

SOPs cover steps that are to be taken by the police after the recovery of missing children, including their identification and rehabilitation.

A bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Manoj Kumar Ohri asked the Delhi Police to file an affidavit indicating the manner and the number of cases in which the 'face recognition software' to track missing children has been used since 2016.

It had earlier asked the police to give district-wise details indicating the number of missing children in Delhi.

The bench said that a DCP rank officer, familiar with the functioning of Cyber Cell, will have to be present before the court on January 22 to assist it so that all the gaps in taking prompt steps to trace the missing children, from the point of lodging of missing report, are adequately plugged.

The bench allowed the plea of child rights NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) seeking to be impleaded as a party in a case relating to missing children.

It also impleaded as parties the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights and Delhi Legal Service Authority to render necessary assistance to the court for streamlining the entire process of monitoring and recovery of missing children in Delhi.

Seeking to be heard as a party in the matter, senior advocate H S Phoolka, appearing for the NGO, submitted that the primary focus of BBA has been on issues pertaining to child rights in India and it has been taking steps to retrieve missing children, those in servitude, child and bonded labour.

The NGO, in its plea filed through advocate Prabhsahay Kaur, said it had filed a petition in the Supreme Court on the issue of missing children and the top court had directed the Centre to lay down SOPs for dealing with and tracing missing/ found children.

Phoolka claimed there is a lot of laxity in implementing the SOPs due to which missing children are still not tracked quickly enough and restored to their families.

Initially a plea was filed in the high court by a man regarding his 13-year-old daughter, who was missing since July 2014. The petition was filed in 2017 and she is yet to be recovered.

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