All 21 recommendations on Apna Ghar accepted: Govt

The government has told the High Court of Bombay at Goa that it has accepted all 21 recommendations made by NGO Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN) on Apna Ghar including inquiring into alleged irregularities of state-appointed ex-Child Welfare Committee (CWC).

"A division bench of Justices S J Vazifdar and F M Reis disposed of the PIL after Advocate General Atmaram Nadkarni, said all grievances have been redressed.

With this, recommendations, some of which included frisking of staffers and visitors by police or private security, creating a post of deputy director for the Home, giving monthly updates to CWC about the status of children lodged in various Homes, deputing matron and counselor to present cases for children before CWC will be implemented shortly.

The petitioners – then Director of SCAN and present CWC Chairperson Audrey Pinto and present SCAN Director Emidio Pinho, had also sought implementation of Integrated Child Protection Scheme by February 2013.

SCAN, in 2010 had brought to the notice of the Court about the various Human Rights violation of the children from other states admitted in state-run Home while also pointing out illegalities and irregularities done by the CWC and the State. The High court had then turned the letter into PIL wherein the State and the CWC were made respondents.

The NGO had also complained that children from other states were languishing in the Goa State Custody for years without any inquiry or rehabilitation.

Meanwhile, the former CWC is in troubled waters as they are alleged to have released children from Apna Ghar in foster care without following proper procedures. The petitioners had also alleged that children were released to perpetrators, released on self custody and given leave on absence, all without following procedures.

More so, the children were taken by the CWC members. This case could be linked to a recent incident wherein a young woman became pregnant during aftercare program with the family of a former CWC member. [H]