Expressing concern over the vacancies in the Odisha State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, the Orissa High Court on Thursday said not filling those defeats the very purpose for which it was established.

“This being a statutory body, there appears to be no justification for keeping these posts vacant. The unfilled vacancies will defeat the very purpose of setting up such a Commission.”, the Court noted.

Hearing a writ petition over the issue, a division bench of Chief Justice S Muralidhar and Justice MS Raman asked the government counsel to take instructions from the state government in response to it.

Ishwar Mohanty, Additional Standing Counsel, appeared for the State.

The court fixed March 9 as the next date for the hearing.

The petition stated the Commissions for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005 mandates establishing the commission with a chairman and six other members.

"Unfortunately, the commission was functioning with just the chairman since August last year," alleged Advocate Prabir Kumar Das, who filed the petition.

Das said that it was a matter of grave public concern that the state government failed to fill up the vacancies, which should have been done within 180 days of occurrence of such vacancies.

As many as 2,372 cases relating to child rights were pending before the commission as of December 2022, he said.

Cause Title- Prabir Kumar Das v. State of Odisha & Others

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