The functioning of Child Welfare Committee (CWC) has come under the scrutiny of a Delhi court which directed the city government to look into the allegation as to how the committee had released the minor girls, who were victims of human trafficking, to their relatives. The court’s order came in a case pertaining to the raids conducted by the Crime Branch of the Delhi police and an NGO at various placement agencies here last year from where many girls, including minors, were recovered and their custody was handed over to the CWC. The NGO ‘Shakti Vahini’ had recently told the court that the girls have been released by the CWC without its consultation and the victims have again been pushed to work as maids, while one of the girls has also been raped by a placement agency official.
“As an immediate measure, I hereby direct that a copy of the application along with its annexure placed before this court, be forwarded to the director of Department of Women and Child Development and also to the secretary, Social Welfare Department, GNCT, Delhi, who will look into the allegations involved and shall inform this court with regard to the remedial measures taken at their ends,” Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Kamini Lau said. The court also said as per available records, the issue raised by the NGO appears to be genuine and it cannot be ignored due to the seriousness of the matter.
“Prima facie, the grievances of the NGO (Shakti Vahini) appears to be genuine and it is writ large that the rescued children are being again pushed back into placement at various places through other agencies.”The entire purpose of the rescue and rehabilitation as contemplated under the act appears to be defeated,” it said. During the hearing, NGO Director Subir Roy and one of its official Rishi Kant, had said they were aggrieved with the CWC’s decision which refused to provide any restoration information about the rescued girls and due to lack of details, they were finding it difficult in tracing the children.
The NGO had also apprised the court that many of the children rescued by them were given by the CWC to their relatives who have again pushed them back to the same work.”Some of those girls have not been found till date on account of which we are unable to provide any help to victims so that they could depose before the court,” the NGO said.Out of the rescued girls so far, only four have appeared before the court to record their testimonies after several reminders to the CWC.
The court noted that a minor, who was earlier rescued, is again back to work through another placement agency and in the last hearing, she was brought to the court by her employers.”How the minor witness, who at the time of recovery, had disclosed her address as that of Bangladesh was released to some relative rather than being handed over to the FRRO for deportation?,” the court asked the CWC.It also said due coordination with the NGO in terms of the provisions of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act should be ensured for rehabilitation of rescued children and they should also be produced in the court at the time of recording of witnesses statements.