Bombay High Court voices concern over rising numbers of missing children, be proactive on child labour tells cops

Mumbai: The Bombay HC recently voiced concern over the rising numbers of missing children. The HC suggested people must become proactive in reporting any case of child labour. The HC also suggested the Maharashtra Police to consider initiating departmental proceedings against officers, who fail to trace missing children.

A division bench of Justice Satyaranjan Dharmadhikari and Justice Bharati Dangre said, “If indeed year after year we find the children being taken away, abducted or kidnapped, used in trade/business or activities strictly prohibited or at least not permitted by law, then, it is the time that we take a count of such missing children and from every range. Meaning thereby, those in charge of the entire range should ensure there is a data of the missing children and it is updated time and again. If a child is missing for two to five years or more than that, then, the superior officers must seek an explanation from the police,” Justice Dharmadhikari said.

Justice Dharmadhikari said, “There is a systematic activity in which somebody is exploiting minors day in and day out. We see, police patrolling jeep taking a routing round, but not bothering to apprehend them.” Accordingly, the judges hoped that the police force would at least ‘realise’ the usefulness of modern technology to trace the missing children. The judges suggested the police force to flash photographs and details of missing children at public places like railway platforms, airports, busy locations etc. The judges said the photographs must be flashed especially during peak hours.

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