Smt Smriti Irani
Minister of Textiles
Minister of Women & Child Development
The bill proposes to strengthen the provisions related to protection and adoption of children.
It proposes to increase the role of district magistrate (DM) and additional district magistrate (ADM) with the issues concerning the child.
Salient Points ()
Serious offence would include offences for which maximum punishment is imprisonment of 7+ years.
Previously, serious offences were considered with imprisonment of 3-7 years.
The bill amends the offence with imprisonment of 3-7 years to be non cognizable.
Earlier the offence was cognizable and non bailable.
The bill proposes to provide more powers to district magistrate to provide adoption orders.
Earlier it was provided by court.
The bill provides any person not satisfied with district magistrate order need to file an appeal within 30 days of order.
The appeals have to be resolved in 4 weeks of filing.
The additional functions include:
- Supervising the District Child Protection Unit
- Conducting a quarterly review of the functioning of the Child Welfare Committee (CWC).
The person would not be eligible if:
- Has any record of violation of human rights/child rights
- Has been convicted of an offence involving moral turpitude,
- Has been removed from service of the central/state government.
- Is part of the management of a child care institution in a district.
The CWC members can be removed if:
- They fail to attend 3 consecutive meetings
- They fail to attend 3/4th of sittings in a year
- In 2000, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) did a audit of almost 7,000 Child Care Institutions (CCIs).
- The results of the audit were startling:
- 39% CCIs were not registered
- 20% were not set up in many states
- There was lack of basic amenities like no toilets, proper drinking water, separate beds in many of the CCIs.
- CCIs were not giving priority to rehabilitation of these kids. The children were kept only to receive funds.
- There was a need to bring the amendment.
Bill introduced in Lok Sabha
Bill passed in Lok Sabha
WHY (as per the govt)
- There is significant delay in finalization of adoption cases in Courts.
- This would strengthen and streamline the provisions for protection of children.
A CASE TO NOTE
The incident happened in boys care home in the district.
The children left notes in the complaint box for years pleading to be rescued from the rescue home, but no one learnt of the crisis because the keys of the complaint box were with the child home management.
When finally the box was opened, cries of help from children blurted out and it clearly showed responsibility and accountability lapses.
WHY NOT (as per opposition)
- This will overburden DMs along with charge of entire district and other numerous duties.
- Centralizing all powers to DM may lead to delays and may have wider repercussions on child welfare.