States must provide basic needs to orphaned due to pandemic without official orders: SC

The state government has been mandated by the Supreme Court to satisfy the basic needs of all orphaned children as a result of the coronavirus catastrophe. The Supreme Court stated that authorities do not need to wait for official regulations because the pandemic has had a major impact on vulnerable children. 

District administrations have been ordered to recognize orphans in their districts and submit their information on the Bal Swaraj portal introduced by National Commission for Protection of Child Rights by a vacation bench of Justices L N Rao and Aniruddha Bose. 

The learned judge issued the order in response to a plea filed by amicus curiae Gaurav Agrawal in a concurrent suo motu case seeking recognition of orphaned children as a result of COVID-19 or other causes and prompt assistance from state governments. The Supreme Court noted that the Centre has already provided an instruction to the relevant authorities for the safeguarding of children who have lost their parents as a result of COVID-19. “The authorities have a duty to guarantee that such children in need are treated well,” the bench observed, citing numerous clauses of the Juvenile Justice Act.    

The state authorities were also ordered to respond to the application by the evening of May 29th, so that the Amicus Curiae could compile a note including all relevant facts and present it to the Court by the evening of May 31st.

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