This is to bring to your kind notice that, the Information Commission has issued notice to Project Director to disclose the information of two cases of Children in Need of Care and Protection dealt by CWC of Srikakulam with reference to appeal filed by a person under RTI Act, 2005. In this notice, chairperson CWC also included as one of the respondents amongst two and the other one is project director, DW&CDA of Srikakulam. In this respect, I hereby request you to please provide your support for possible proceedings in responding to the said notice by the commission.
Thanking you sir,
CWC - Srikakulam
Clarifications for responding to Information Commission under RTI Act, 2005 by CWC
This is in reference with your request with regard to the response to the Information Commission on RTI notice issued for the information in two cases of CNCP in Srikakulam Dist. In fact, it is mentioned to present before commission for one of the respondents in the notice that, O/o the Chairman, Children Welfare Society in O/o Project Director, District Women Development & Child Welfare Agency. But, the following points to be observed herewith:
1. There is no Children Welfare Society in the above address. But, it is Child Welfare Committee.
2. There is no Chairman in the above address. But, there is Chairperson by designation that is also to the Child Welfare Committee but not for Children Welfare Society.
3. The office address also mentioned like O/o the Project Director, District Women Development & Child Welfare Agency. In fact, it is Dist. Women & Child Development Agency.
Further, the following provisions of other relevant legislations also to be taken in to consideration while responding to the above said notice by the commission that is as follows:
In accordance with the Sec 8 (1) of RTI Act, 2005 for exemption from disclosure of information, it is provided that, Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen,—
As per Sec 8 (1) (b) of RTI Act, 2005 it is prescribed that, Information which has been expressly forbidden to be published by any court of law or tribunal or the disclosure of which may constitute contempt of court;
CWC is a court by all means under Sec 2(1) Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 and also as per the definition of Sec 3 of Evidence Act, 1872 court means a civil, criminal or revenue court and includes any tribunal or any other authority constituted under any law for the time being in force to exercise judicial or quasi judicial functions. Hence CWC is a court.
As per Sec 2 (23) of JJ (C&PC) Act, 2015 a “court” means a civil court, which has jurisdiction in matters of adoption and guardianship and may include the District Court, Family Court and City Civil Courts;
As per Sec 30 (xi) of JJ (C & PC) Act, 2015 the committee is having authority in declaration of orphan, abandoned and surrendered child as legally free for adoption after due inquiry;
As per Sec 27 (9) of JJ (C&PC) Act, 2015 The Committee shall function as a Bench and shall have the powers conferred by the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 on a Metropolitan Magistrate or, as the case may be, a Judicial Magistrate of First Class.
As per Sec 66 (1) of JJ (C & PC) Act, 2015 All the institutions registered under this Act, which may not have been recognised as Specialised Adoption Agencies, shall also ensure that all orphan or abandoned or surrendered children under their care are reported, produced and declared legally free for adoption, by the Committee as per the provisions of section 38 of JJ (C&PC) Act, 2015.
As per Sec 29 (2) of JJ (C & PC) Act, 2015 while defining the powers of the Committee, it is clearly prescribed that, Where a Committee has been constituted for any area, such Committee shall, notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, but save as otherwise expressly provided in this Act, have the power to deal exclusively with all proceedings under this Act relating to children in need of care and protection
As per Sec 8 (1) (c) it is prescribed that the Information, the disclosure of which would cause a breach of privilege of Parliament or the State Legislature;
THE JUVENILE JUSTICE (CARE AND PROTECTION OF CHILDREN) ACT, 2015 is The Act of Parliament received the assent of the President on the 31st December, 2015, and came in to existence on 1st January 2016.
In this respect, the information asked by the appellant with regard to the cases of children in need of care and protection are dealt under said Act enacted by the Parliament with the assent of the President of INDIA. The disclosure of the information hereunder may causes breach to the confidentiality of the matters of those particular children victimized in these cases.
Moreover, disclosure of such confidential information of the cases dealt under the legislation is a violation of provisions under Sec 99 (1) of the JJ (C & PC) Act, 2015 which prescribed that, all reports related to the child and considered by the Committee or the Board shall be treated as confidential: Provided that the Committee or the Board, as the case may be, may, if it so thinks fit, communicate the substance thereof to another Committee or Board or to the child or to the child’s parent or guardian, and may give such Committee or the Board or the child or parent or guardian, an opportunity of producing evidence as may be relevant to the matter stated in the report.
As per Sec 1 (4) JJ Act, 2015 notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, the provisions of this Act shall apply to all matters concerning children in need of care and protection and children in conflict with law, including —
(i) apprehension, detention, prosecution, penalty or imprisonment, rehabilitation and social re-integration of children in conflict with law;
(ii) procedures and decisions or orders relating to rehabilitation, adoption, re-integration, and restoration of children in need of care and protection.
As per the general principle of right to privacy and confidentiality prescribed under Sec 3 (xi) of JJ (C & PC) Act, 2015 that, every child shall have a right to protection of his privacy and confidentiality by all means and throughout the judicial process.