The case relating to molestation of a young girl in Guwahati should have been handled by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights instead of the NCW as the victim is a minor, experts said today.
Experts were also critical about the way in which the case was handled by the National Commission for Women, whose fact-finding mission member revealed the identity of the victim.
"Even after the case has reached the drawing rooms across the country and even abroad, NCPCR has yet not come out with any statement in context of the case.
"Not only this, there is a separate commission in Assam which deals with protection of child rights. There has been no inquiry or efforts from them so far," Amod Kanth, former chief of Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights, said.
Shoba Vijender, a former member of the Child Welfare Committee, echoed Kant's views when she said a 17-year-old girl is a minor and should be treated under Juvenile Justice Act which comes under the ambit of NCPCR.
"The very first step in dealing with the case was against the constitutional and legal guidelines," she said.
They were of the opinion that sending Alka Lamba as a member of the fact finding committee was neither a wise decision nor a justified one.
"She is neither a member of NCW nor she has any relative experience in handling such cases before. Even sacking her from the fact finding committee is no big punishment as the committee did not have any constitutional existence," the experts said.
"Blaming only the govt or NCW wont be justified. Media has equally contributed to the mess. Government and media should work in unison. If a mistake was made on NCW's end to disclose the name of the victim, media should have rectified it rather than publicising," Poornima Adwani, a former NCW chief, said.
Talking about the legal tangles in the case, senior advocate Meenakshi Lekhi said, "Privacy rights of any individual are guaranteed by the Constitution. Why it has to be instructed by IPC or any Supreme Court directive? Why every case is to be handled only after the victim has suffered the worst?"