The Supreme Court on 9 December 2015 asked the Union Government to operationalise the Organised Crimes Investigating Agency (OCIA) by 1 December 2016. OICA will probe human trafficking cases across the nation.
The direction was given by Supreme Court bench headed by Justice AR Dave and comprising of Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice Kurian Joseph. Issuing these directions, the bench disposed of a PIL filed in 2004.
The bench also asked the Ministry of Women and Child Development to complete the consultation process in six months on the issue of making a comprehensible legislation to deal with issues like prevention, rescue and rehabilitation of the victims of trafficking for commercial and sexual exploitation.
Earlier, the apex court asked all States and Union Territories (UTs) to provide the data of FIRs registered between 2014 and 30 September 2015 with regard to girl child trafficking under certain provisions of the IPC and Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) within a fortnight.
The Ministry on 16 November 2015 set up a panel, headed by its Secretary, to deliberate upon a new legislation and informed the court that consultation has to begin soon.
The Union Government had earlier told the court that instead of amending certain provisions in existing statutes, there is a need for a comprehensive legislation to tackle all aspects of human trafficking.
Comment and Analysis
Operationalisation of the OCIA will help in curbing the inter-state and international trafficking of girls for sexual exploitation. This execution will help in true implementation of Article 23 of Constitution of India, which prohibits traffic in human beings and forced labour.
Article 23 in the Constitution of India
Prohibition of traffic in human beings and forced labour
(1) Traffic in human beings and beggar and other similar forms of forced labour are prohibited and any contravention of this provision shall be an offence punishable in accordance with law.
(2) Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from imposing compulsory service for public purpose, and in imposing such service the State shall not make any discrimination on grounds only of religion, race, caste or class or any of them.
But this can be achieved only if the Government strictly goes by the direction of the Apex Court.
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When: 9 December 2015