Court constitutes committee to supervise juvenile homes

NEW DELHI - Taking serious note of the insensitivity shown towards children living in juvenile homes, the Delhi High Court Wednesday constituted a four-member committee to look into their welfare.

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Ajit Prakash Shah and Justice Manmohan said: Bureaucracy will remain bureaucracy and will not change people who are becoming insensitive towards these children. So we need to form a committee that can regularly visit the homes and look after their welfare.

Our priority is to solve the problems in the juvenile homes and there is an urgent need to address them. It has been pointed out that there is no sensitisation training for the staff member who are working in these observation homes, the bench said while hearing a public interest petition alleging rampant sexual abuse and ill-treatment of minors lodged in juvenile homes.

The four-member committee would comprise of the joint director (technical) from the Social Welfare Department’s women and child development wing, two principal magistrates (respective jurisdiction) and one representative either from an NGO or from a legal fraternity to be appointed by the Delhi Legal Service Authority.

The committee will supervise the working closely in the observation homes and also conducts surprise inspections from time to time and will submit its first report within two weeks to the two-member judge committee, said the bench while slating the matter for hearing Sep 2.

During the course of the hearing, Mukta Gupta, the counsel for Delhi Police, submitted that they had involved the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) in this regard.

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