HC seeks response from govts on orphanage kids

The Union and the state governments were asked on Wednesday by the Delhi High Court to respond to a plea, emailed to it, apprising it of the alleged sexual assault and harassment of children in an orphanage here.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw issued notices to both the governments and also to Arya Anathalaya, an orphanage home in Daryaganj area here, seeking their replies within three weeks. The court issued notices, taking cognisance of an email received by Justice Sikri from one Bharti Ali, alleging that the children in the orphanage were subjected to sexual abuse and other “sufferings”.

The court also sought a report from the administrator, appointed by Delhi government to look into the matter. The counsel appearing for the orphanage submitted that all  allegations against the children’s home were baseless and it had no objection even if the court appointed a judicial officer to conduct an inquiry into it.

To this submission, the bench said the court is looking into the larger prospect of the issue, including issue of running NGOs without registering under the relevant laws.

“One cannot rule out such things never happen in the orphanage. If such thing has happened, it is your duty to take some corrective measure,” the court said. The Delhi government had appointed an administrator on February 13, after several media reports last weeks alleged sexual exploitation of children in the orphanage.

‘Punishment inhuman’

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday refused to initiate contempt of court proceedings against an IPS officer for making a constable crawl in a court complex for not saluting him and instead continue talking on his mobile phone.

The court said awarding such punishment is “inhuman” and directed the city police commissioner to issue a direction to ensure that no officer resorts to punishing their subordinates in public places and in the manner the particular IPS officer, Additional DCP Seju P Kuruvila, did.

“We are of the opinion that this case does not come under any provision of the Contempt of Court Act,” the bench said.

Asking police chief to go through the Punjab Police Rules, which is applicable to the Delhi Police as well, the court said awarding such punishment to juniors is not prescribed in police rules.

“The punishment of such nature is not prescribed in the Punjab Police Rules. It is inhuman in nature and awarding punishment to a constable in public in court premises is inappropriate,” the Bench said.

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