Case: Bachpan Bachao Andolan v. Union of India & Others

Petitioner: Bachpan Bachao Andolan

Respondent: Union of India & Others,

Date of Judgement: [2011] 5 SCC 1

Statute referred:

  • Indian Constitution
  • Juvenile Justice Act


  1. This petition has been filed in public interest (PIL) under Article 32 of the Constitution in the wake of serious violations and abuse of children who are forcefully slacken in circuses, in many occurrence, without any approach to their families under uttermost inhuman conditions.
  2. There are occurrence of sexual abuse on a daily basis, physical abuse as well as emotional abuse. The children are underprivileged of basic human needs of food and water.
  3. A contempt petition was filed in the writ petition by the petitioner on 26.04.2013,, complaining of the way in which a complaint made regarding a missing child was handled by the concerned police station.
  4. For the same case, certain directions were passed which also included additional directions for executing the provisions of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000, as amended in 2006.
  5. The court passed an interim direction that when any case regarding missing children is being reported in police station, the same should be reduced into a First Information Report (FIR) and suitable steps should be taken to ensure that follow up investigations takes place immediately.
  6. But , there was an element of doubt raised by the State of Madhya Pradesh regarding the recording of the First Information Report (FIR) relating to missing child, having consider to the provisions of Section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, which relates to information in cognizable cases.

Issues involved:

  • Whether the writ of mandamus or any other appropriate writ, order or direction, directing the respondents to frame appropriate guidelines for the persons engaged in circuses be filed?

Contention by Petitioners:

  • The petitioner stated that since the I.C.F. does not have sufficient influence even on its own members, the agreement did not get executed, the petitioner kept on getting information and complaints from many parents through the NGOs working in Nepal.
  • The petitioner further stated that life of these children begins at daybreak with training instructors’ shouting abuses, ruthless beatings and two biscuits and a cup of tea. After 3 to 5 shows and of lot of abuse comments of the crowds. If a child is scared on the rope while performing the trapeze, he/she is scolded and ill treated by the managers or employers and sometimes even beat on one pretext.
  • The petitioner stated that there are no labour or any welfare laws, which safeguard the rights of these children. Children are abused physically, emotionally and sexually in these places.

Contention by Respondent:

  • Union of India stated that India is home to 19% of world’s children. More than one-third of the country’s population around 440 million is below 18 years. we must safeguard, educate and develop the child population so that their citizenry is productive. Resources must be invested in children proportionate to their huge population.
  • Union of India stated that the millennium development goals cannot be secured unless child protection is an integral part of programmes, strategies and plans for their achievement.
  • Union of India stated that the existing child protection mechanisms have to be first noticed.


In order to execute the fundamental right of the children under Article 21A of the Indian Constitution it is vital that the Central Government must issue suitable notifications prohibiting the employment of children in circuses within two months from today.

The Respondents are directed to conduct contemporaneous raids in all the circuses to liberate the children and check the violation of fundamental rights of the children. Children to be kept in the Care and Protective Homes till they attain the age of 18 years.


In this present case the Article 32 of Indian constitution is applied to file a suit.

Drafted By: Sangeeta N, Presidency University, Bangalore

Edited By: Tanvi Mahajan, Publisher, Law Insider

Published On: February 20, 2022 at 22:00 IST

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