India’s Supreme Court has asked states why they had not set up special courts to hear cases of violation of human rights, even 25 years after a law asked them to, The Hindu reported on Thursday.
Chief Justice Dipak Misra observed that “not a single state” had done it even though a human rights law, in 1993, asked states to set up such courts with special public prosecutors in each district.
The court was hearing a petition challenging a Calcutta High Court order that had stripped the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights of the power to investigate a case of child trafficking in West Bengal, as the state-level commission was already considering the matter.
The Supreme Court stayed the High Court’s order, and asked for all states to be made respondents in the case, as child trafficking was a “national issue” that “knows no boundaries”, Live Law reported.
The states need to respond to the notice within two weeks.
“The dignity of the child needs to be protected,” the court said. “A child cannot be bartered away at the whim and fancy of the persons in charge of an orphanage…States have a great role to play…it is necessary to have a comprehensive view regarding the running of orphanages, mode and method of adoptions, care given to children in these institutions, treatment meted out to the children.”
The court will next hear the case on January 22.