Haryana sets up child rights panel

Haryana has set up a commission for protection of child rights, the government told the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday. The court was hearing a bunch of petitions seeking the formation of such a commission in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh.

While the Punjab government had already constituted such a commission, both the governments intimated the court, by filling affidavits, that they have appointed chairmen and two members of the panel. Following this, a division comprising Chief Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri and Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain directed the Punjab and Haryana governments to appoint a total of six members and a chairman to make the commission functional.

The court was also told that the Centre had not released funds to the Chandigarh Administration for the purpose, as the finance ministry had in-principle stopped the creation of any new posts.

"For compliance of a statutory obligation of an important legislation, the Union cannot take such an excuse," the court said while directing the Chandigarh Administration and the Centre to inform the court of their stand in writing before the next date of hearing.

Meanwhile, petitioner Hemant Goswami raised questions about the credentials of chairman of the Punjab State Child Rights Commission.

"No member of the commission can be engaged in any other vocation or employment. But Swaran Singh Salaria, chairman of the Punjab State Child Rights Commission, was engaged in full-time business in Punjab, Jammu and Mumbai," he said.

Following this, the bench directed Punjab government to clarify about its stand on this on January 23 the next date of hearing.

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