The Supreme Court has asked the chief secretaries of all the states and Union territories to instruct all the police station to register an FIR and start investigation in cases of missing children.
A bench of chief justice Altamas Kabir, justices J Chelameswar and Vikramajit Sen also directed that all police stations should have a special juvenile police officer to deal with the cases of missing children.
It said that such officers would be in plain clothes and work in coordination with child welfare committees.
The court passed the order on a PIL filed by an NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan alleging that for over 1.7 lakh children have gone missing in the country between January 2008-2010, many of whom were kidnapped for trafficking in flesh trade and child labour.
The NGO has claimed that the number of missing children in India is about 90,000 every year with more than 30,000 remaining untraced.
The judges also directed the chief secretaries of Gujarat, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Arunachal Pradesh, Orissa and Himachal Pradesh to be present before it on February 5 and explain why they have been negligent in implementing its interim directions from time to time.
According to a PIL filed by the lawyer HS Phoolka, at least 1, 77,600 children went missing between 2009 and 2011, out of which 55,450 are yet to be traced.
A recent report by Centre’s statistics ministry says while an absolute increase of 181 million in the country’s population has been recorded during the decade 2001-2011, there is a reduction of 5.05 millions in the population of children aged 0-6 years during the same period.