Kanth to head new child rights panel for Delhi

The Delhi government will set up a new Commission for Protection of Child Rights, likely to be headed by former IPS officer Amod Kanth.

The government's Social Welfare Department will issue a notification to set up the commission on Wednesday. "It will be an advocacy and advisory panel on all issues related to children's rights — from education to child labour," Secretary (Social Welfare) Devashree Mukerjee said.

"I have been told that I would be heading the organisation and I am looking forward to it," Kanth told Newsline from Patna.

The commission will be on lines of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, formed last March. Delhi is one of the first states to set up the commission at the state level.

The commission will be allowed to take suo motu cognisance of any case related to child rights.

Kanth's role in the Jessica Lal murder case investigations came under the scanner after a lower court released all the accused. But the 1974-batch IPS officer, who runs the child welfare NGO Prayas, got a clean chit when Manu Sharma and other co-accused were convicted by the High Court. He retired from service last year.

He founded Prayas in 1988, and the NGO at present supports 50,000 children in Delhi, Gujarat and Bihar. Kanth was a member of the high-powered committee supervising 47 custodial homes in Delhi and the supervisory committee of the Directorate of Social Welfare.

The chairperson's term will not exceed three years.

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