JK Govt ‘forgets’ to count number, submit report

SC direction on missing children


Srinagar, Jan 20: Five months after the Supreme Court directed the central and state governments to trace whereabouts of 55,000 missing children across India, the J&K Government has failed to submit its report.
Following the Apex Court direction in August last, the J&K government had said it would compile a “comprehensive report” on the “grave” issue. The SC had also sought from the centre and state governments separate action-taken reports on the issue.
Sources told Greater Kashmir that the state government has however failed to trace whereabouts of missing children and submit a report to the SC even after five months. “There is no progress on the compilation of report. The fact of the matter is that Government had never thought of compiling such a document,” an official said. He however declined to give further information on the issue because he said he was not authorized to speak on the issue.
Soon after the SC judgement in August, Law Minister Ali Muhammad Sagar had told Greater Kashmir that the J&K government would follow the Apex Court directions and take “necessary” measures.
The Home Department had said it would take “effective measures” on the issue. “After examining the ruling, the state government would take effective measures,” then Home Minister Nasir Aslam Wani had said.
The state government had said it would follow the SC directions in “letter and spirit” and take “effective measures” over a “serious” issue.
Last year, the J&K government was learnt to have planned to constitute a fact-finding committee to find out the count of missing children in the state. However, the plan to constitute a committee could not materialize, owing to a “political intrigue” which sources said involved some top officials.
“The officials had a strong intrigue over the constitution of such body,” they said.
Law Secretary Ghulam Hassan Tantray had said the matter did not fall under the jurisdiction of Law Department. “Our department is into the making of laws. The implementation part is undertaken by Home Department,” he had said.
Legal experts had opined that if J&K government failed to submit the report to SC over the issue, it would amount to contempt of court. “The Supreme Court direction has a legal binding on every institution. If any institution does not follow its directions then it amounts to contempt of court,” Syed Riyaz Khawar, a senior High Court lawyer, had told Greater Kashmir.
The J&K Government puts the figure of missing persons at 3429 as presented in the State Legislative Assemble in 2009.
Law Minister Mir Saifullah said he would look into the matter.
Law Secretary Ghulam Hassan Tantry had however told Greater Kashmir that the matter does not fall under the jurisdiction of Law Department. “Our department is into making laws. The implementation part is undertaken by the Home Department,” he had said.

Lastupdate on : Sun, 20 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 20 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 21 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST

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