Chennai: Observing that single parenting is a dangerous concept for society, the Madras high court held that a child needs the affection of both its mother and father.

Justice N. Kirubakaran, before whom a contempt petition filed by Girija Raghavan of Chennai, seeking to punish the Union ministry of women and child development for not obeying the court order dated October 16, 2015, came up for hearing on Friday, said that one cannot compensate the other, and the lack of such affection and love might cause behavioural changes in the child, which could turn against the society.

The judge noted that the concept of family from joint to nuclear has now evolved to single parenting. Referring to a recent sexual abuse case in the city, justice Kirubakaran said, “What kind of parents are they to be unaware of what is happening to their child.”

The judge said, it is time Union ministry of women and child development is bifurcated to establish a dedicated ministry for child development alone. He also asked the Central government as to why there cannot be separate ministries for women development and child development at the Centre, since as of now, both ministries continued to function under the head of union ministry of women and child development.

The judge directed the assistant solicitor general to get instructions from the Union government regarding the separation. The judge has also asked the assistant solicitor general to get instructions from the ministry as to whether they have issued any guidelines to spend the Nirbhaya fund being allotted to the state governments, and posted the plea to August 17.

It may be noted that in an order dated October 16, 2015, the court suggested the ministry to consider ‘castration’ of child abusers, particularly, child rapists, as an additional punishment apart from other punishments under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, IPC and the Juvenile Justice Act. The court passed the order when an accused filed a criminal original petition challenging the trial in a lower court in a criminal case filed against him under the POCSO Act.

The accused allegedly attempted to have sexual intercourse with a 15-year old boy, in an unnatural way. Among other directions, Justice N Kirubakaran directed the Union government to incorporate columns in Indian visa forms issued to foreign nationals to provide details of their pending cases, and cases of conviction as provided in UK visa forms.The Centre was also asked to instruct all the state governments to conduct massive awareness programmes about crimes against children as provided under Pocso Act. The present contempt plea has been moved since Union failed to implement several directions.

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