HC relief for Meghalaya children

Twenty parents in Meghalaya can now heave a sigh of relief with the Madras High Court quashing an order of the Child Welfare Committee that their children who are staying at Hosur in Krishnagiri district be sent back to their home State. They can now continue their education, because the parents submitted that it was their decision that the children should study in Tamil Nadu.
The children were staying at the Sri Niveditha Trust in Krishnagiri district.
On October 24, 2013, the Child Welfare Committee, Krishnagiri, passed an order that they be sent back to Meghalaya.
The order had been passed under Section 38 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act.
The petitioners’ wards were sent back to Meghalaya. Thereafter, pursuant to the High Court’s directive, the matter was examined by the Chief Secretary, Meghalaya. The official had recorded the parents’ statement.
Already, following an interim directive of the High Court, the children were continuing their education at present as per their parents’ wishes.
When the matter came up before the First Bench comprising Chief Justice S.K. Kaul and Justice M.M. Sundresh, counsel for the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) submitted that the parents’ stand could not be disputed.
The Commission filed a report and the draft protocol on child trafficking.
The Bench observed that the committee’s order was cryptic and mentioned no reason for transferring the children, though the panel enjoyed statutory powers.
The parents’ stand that it was only as per their request the children were studying in Tamil Nadu was undisputed.
Parents were the natural guardians of the children and entitled to take a decision.
If they did not want the children to study here in the present scenario, they could take them back.
The court called upon the Tamil Nadu and Meghalaya Governments to examine the suggestions given by the NCPCR for necessary action within four months.
It quashed the impugned order.