About 97-98 per cent of child abuse cases are not reported to the appropriate authorities in the country, Supreme Court Judge Deepak Gupta said here at a symposium.
“The cases are not reported because these incidents of cruelty or ill-treatment happen within the family or (involve) close friends or relatives,” Justice Gupta said here on Sunday at a symposium on juvenile justice.
Quoting researchers and other sources, he said: “The perpetrators or offenders in many cases of child abuse are members of the same family or relatives or close friends and neighbours. Authorities should take this issue very seriously.”
Gupta, who was the first Chief Justice of Tripura High Court before he was transferred to Chhattisgarh High Court, and later elevated to Supreme Court, said child abuse cases must be dealt with the help of computerisation and the e-court system.
“Minor crimes concerning children should be dealt with by involving parents or guardians instead of the juvenile court.”
Addressing the symposium, Tripura High Court Chief Justice Ajay Rastogi said of the 1.21 billion population, 39 per cent are children or below the age of 16 years, who are “the future of our country and they should be given all child friendly atmosphere”.
Citing many instances, Tripura High Court Judge Subhashish Talapatra said children’s voices are not heard in the family as well as in the schools, and they are not properly respected anywhere in the society.
Urging the government to formulate a time-bound action plan for the welfare of the children and women, Talapatra said there are inadequate resources and infrastructure for the benefit of the children.
He asked the government to implement both the Integrated Child Development Schemes and Integrated Child Protection Schemes.
Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, who inaugurated the symposium, said his government would implement all the laws meant for the welfare of children and set up juvenile homes in all the eight districts.
Tripura High Court Judge Arindam Lodh and Tripura Social Welfare and Social Education Minister Santana Chakma also spoke at the symposium, jointly organised by Tripura High Court’s Juvenile Justice Committee and Tripura Social Welfare and Social Education Department.