Doubts over no. of cases cleared by State commission on child rights

Prajakta Joshi
Wednesday, 20 February 2019

“Earlier, hearings would take place in the third week of every month. These would generally clear at least 15 to 20 cases every month. However, in the last six months, hardly four to five hearings have taken place,” parent activist Prasad Tulaskar said.

PUNE: The Maharashtra State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR) did not upload a single order on its website for the past one year, raising doubts about the number of cases the commission cleared during the period.

A parent activist alleged that the SCPCR conducted hearings on hardly four-five cases in the past six months. However, the chairperson, who is the head of the commission, said that he was unaware of the issue.

It has been observed that the proceedings of the SCPCR till 2017 and the orders it passed would be frequently uploaded on the website. However, hardly anything has been updated since 2018. The last order on the website is dated March 22, 2018.

“Earlier, hearings would take place in the third week of every month. These would generally clear at least 15 to 20 cases every month. However, in the last six months, hardly four to five hearings have taken place,” parent activist Prasad Tulaskar said.

In July 2018, following the outcome of an RTI query by Tulaskar, Sakal Times had reported that only 33 out of the 280 cases filed with the commission between 2015 to 2018 were cleared. While the delay was also attributed to the scarcity of staff at the SCPCR as one of the reasons cases are not being cleared despite recruitments taking place.

Speaking about his own case, Tulaskar said, “Last year, we won a case against the IES Modern English School in Dadar regarding the issue of the fee hike. The students were given a white card over non-payment of excess fees, which we had called out to be unjust. In a hearing in September, the commission had asked for a review on the same from the Education Department. As nothing has been received from them till date, our final order too is still pending.”

Even in the few other cases where hearings have taken place, Tulaskar said that the orders have not yet been released, which is also evident from the SCPCR website.

On enquiring about the same, Pravin Ghuge, Chairperson of the Commission, said that he will have to look into the issue raised by the activist before commenting. While most of the orders are signed by the chairperson as he is the highest authority in the institution, he still denied having any details on how many hearings have taken place despite being asked about it repeatedly.

According to the earlier report by Sakal Times, while the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has a ‘Citizen Charter’ that promises to give report on the filed cases within 30 days, the State Commission is taking a much longer time to do so.

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