Apna Ghar courts controversy again
State-run Apna Ghar appears to have run into another controversy, as Panjim police were given the custody of an underage inmate allegedly without any permission from the Child Welfare Committee, which is the sole authority to deal with matters concerning children in need of care and protection.
NGO Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN) when called by the police officials to assist in recording the statement of the girl, who was dressed in the Apna Ghar uniform, found she was released from the institution without orders from the competent authority.
SCAN also alleged that the CWC was unaware of the whereabouts of the child upon inquiry. “We requested the police to show us the order of the CWC granting custody of the child to be taken out of Apna Ghar. The police thereafter showed us the form which contained directions for the IO to depute a LPC to take the child for medical on March 20, 2013.
There was no order from the competent authority granting permission to hand over the child to the police. Further I was surprised that there was no escort from Apna Ghar accompanying the child and she was sent along with the Lady Police Constable,” SCAN Director Emidio Pinho said, demanding an inquiry within one month.
“All movements of the child under Juvenile Justice Act 2000 are to be directed by the competent authority. The practice of handing over a child to the police without any escort from the institution and without orders of the competent authority is in violation of basic mandate of the JJ Act,” the letter further reads as.
Neither the Panjim police nor the Apna Ghar officials were available for comments. [H]