New Delhi: The NCPCR claimed that West Bengal was still following the Women’s and Children’s Institutions (Licensing) Act, and recommended the state to instead register all child care institutions under the Juvenile Justice Act.

In a letter to West Bengal chief secretary H K Dwivedi, NCPCR chairperson Priyank Kanoongo said during an inspection of a child care institution in the state, the Commission came across documents indicating that provisions of the Women’s and Children’s Institutions (Licensing) Act, 1956 were still being followed for child care institutions functioning in the state.

“In this regard, the Commission would like to inform that for all institutions housing children and for care and protection of such children, the Juvenile Justice (JJ) Act, 2015 is applicable across the country. As per the provisions laid down by the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015, all child care institutions shall be registered under the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015,” he said.

“Therefore, the applicability of the Juvenile Justice Act to child care institutions meant for care and protection of children, remains an indisputable fact and that all states/UTs across the country have to follow the provisions of this Act, irrespective of any other law in force,” he said.

“It is requested that an action taken report in this regard may be sent to the Commission within 10 days,” Kanoongo said in the letter issued on Tuesday.

Before the JJ Act, the Women’s and Children’s Institutions (Licensing) Act, 1956 provided for licensing of institutions established and maintained for the reception, care, protection and welfare of women or children.

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