Sahara Time October 9, 2010 17 www.saharatime.com
Tepid lawmakers and somnolent authority
WHEN IT comes to inhuman trafficking and child abuse, there is a huge trust deficit. Right from a father to a teacher – several offenders have emerged from respectable categories. A less than-alert media has also encouraged the perpetrators of crime against minors. A legislation against child abuse is gathering dust in the Law ministry for long.
Lawmakers were officially informed that in the years 2005-2006 and 2007, there were 4,026, 4,721 and 5,045 cases of child abuse respectively. Last year, maximum number of cases (1,043) was reported from Madhya Pradesh, followed by Maharashtra (406), UP (471), Rajasthan (406), Chhattisgarh (368) and Andhra Pradesh (363), whereas in Arunachal Pradesh, number of such cases was as low as one. In Nagaland, Andaman Nicobar, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Puducherry, number of such cases are 2 and 3 each respectively. Manipur recorded only one such case. Moreover, records of 2008 to 2010 are expected to be certainly on the higher side. The national capital is also not safe for children.
In a rare judgment, a division bench comprising justices B D Ahmed and V K Jain of Delhi high court came to the rescue of minors who had got married and minor boys who lure girls into marriage, kidnaps or rapes them, calling it 'valid.' And rules out lodging of an FIR regarding such cases as according to Hindu Marriage Act husband is the natural caretaker of his wife, so in case of minor wife, he should also bear this responsibility. This is not the first and last judgment…
there are several such cases piled up in high courts to Supreme
In fact, women and child safety is nowhere to be seen as a priority of the
government. Be it Parliament or society, everyone is a mute spectator to such grave issues. Ranging from making laws on child rights to its execution, making foolproof policies or setting up of such organisations, everything needs deep thinking. Without creating the necessary platform, it is impossible to eliminate child sexual abuse.
(Arvind Jain is a lawyer with the Supreme Court; views
expressed here are personal)