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Madras High Court calls for separate Union ministry for welfare of children, based on incidents of sexual violence

Chennai: The Madras high court on Friday said it is high time the Ministry for Women and Child Development is bifurcated to create another ministry in view of increasing incidents of child abuse.

Justice N Kirubakaran asked the assistant solicitor general to get instructions from the Centre on why there cannot be separate ministries for women development and child development.

 Madras High Court calls for separate Union ministry for welfare of children, based on incidents of sexual violence

File photo of Madras High Court. Wikimedia Commons

He observed that single parenting can be dangerous for society as a child needs the affection of both the mother and the father. One cannot compensate the other and lack of such affection and love might cause behavioural changes in the child which may turn against the society, he observed.

Justice Kirubakaran made the observation while hearing a contempt petition filed by Girija Raghavan against the Ministry for Women and Child Development for not obeying the court's 16 September 2015, order.

In the 2015 order, the high court had suggested that the ministry should consider castration of those abusing or raping children, in addition to punishment under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, the IPC and the Juvenile Justice Act.

In the order, Justice Kirubakaran had also directed the Union government to instruct all state governments to conduct massive awareness programmes on crimes against children that come under the POCSO Act.

The present contempt plea was moved after the Centre failed to implement the directions.

Referring to a recent case of sexual abuse of a minor girl by several men in the city, which came to light after she shared her ordeal with her sister, the court asked, "What kind of parents are they to be unaware of what is happening to their child?"

Justice Kirubakaran also asked the Assistant Solicitor General to get instructions from the Union ministry on whether it has issued any guidelines for spending the Nirbhaya fund being allotted to the state governments.

The court posted the plea to 17 August.

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Updated Date: Aug 11, 2018 12:40:38 IST

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