The Supreme Court said Thursday that incidents of sexual abuse in shelter homes have "spread like cancer" and blasted the authorities for "waiting" to take action despite the fact that 1,575 minors have been abused in such homes across the country.
A bench comprising Justices Madan B Lokur, S Abdul Nazeer and Deepak Gupta expressed anguish that no concrete action has been taken to curb these incidents.
"1,575 minors have been sexually abused and you are still waiting. How long are you going to wait?," the bench observed.
The court's observation came after it was informed by the counsel appearing for National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) that they have shared the data of social audit of such homes with the Centre and a meeting was held in the first week of this month.
During the hearing, the bench observed that several of these shelter homes were being run by the NGOs and the situation was getting worse.
"The sad part is that NGOs are running (many of) these homes. Where will we go? Who do we depend upon?," the bench said, adding, "it is getting worse and worse. The more you look into it, the more serious the problems are".
The bench has posted the matter for hearing on October 4.
The top court had earlier asked the centre to consider framing a child protection policy and observed that according to social audit conducted by the Ministry of Women and Child Development from 2015 to March last year, 1,575 children were abused and were now living in the shelter homes.
The court, which has taken cognisance of the Muzaffarpur shelter home incident where several girls were allegedly raped and sexually abused, had earlier termed the case as "horrific".
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