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Fill vacancies in NCPCR in 90 days: Delhi High Court

Fill vacancies in NCPCR in 90 days: Delhi High Court
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Taking serious note of the inaction of the Centre in filling up vacancies in the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), the Delhi ...

New Delhi: Taking serious note of the inaction of the Centre in filling up vacancies in the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), the Delhi High Court on Monday directed it to fill up the vacant posts within 90 days.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar directed the Ministry of Women and Child Development to ensure that the posts are filled as "it is a critical institution, where child rights are involved".

It directed the ministry to examine the aspect of filling the post of the NCPCR Chairperson, who is likely to demit his office in September this year after completing his tenure.

The bench noted that seven years have passed since one of the members vacated his position and observed that NCPCR was a statutory body that dealt with highly important aspects related to the children. Besides, there was also an order of the Supreme Court to make the NCPCR fully functional.

"The statute is clear enough to fill the vacancies within ninety days," it said and disposed of a PIL brought by advocate Radhakanta Tripathy aimed at ensuring better administration in the panel for safeguarding the interests of children.

As per the statutory mandate under the Commissions for Protection of Child Rights Act 2005, the panel should have six members and a chairperson. At present, the child rights panel has three members.

Stuti Narain Kacker is its chairperson and the post will fall vacant in September this year, the court was told by the petitioner. Under the mandate, fresh appointments must be made within 90 days from the time of the occurrence of the vacancy, the PIL has said.
The petition said that non-appointment of commission members frustrated the mechanism for dispensing justice and increases the pendency of cases pertaining to child rights.

The NCPCR, established in 2007, is responsible for implementation of child rights such as right to food, protection of children from sexual offences and free and compulsory education, among others.

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