New Delhi: Delhi government on Friday received stern reprimands from high court and the National Human Rights Commission over the recent case of violence and vandalism at a juvenile home here with both calling for better supervision of such shelters to prevent a repeat of such incidents.
Castigating the authorities concerned for their failure to control rioting at juvenile homes, Delhi High Court asked the government and police to ensure law and order at these shelters. It also directed that steps be taken to segregate children involved in heinous crime at these homes.
"Something is wrong. System is responsible for this. There can`t be lawlessness. We can`t allow rioting on a daily basis. It means you are doing nothing," a bench of Chief Justice NV Ramana and Justice Manmohan said after taking suo motu cognisance of the incident.
The Director of the Department of Women and Child Development, Rajeev Kale, who was present in court, blamed a lack of standard operating procedures as well as the presence of a multiplicity of authorities for the rioting.
The court held that, "keeping in view the situation, we make the Director, Department of Women and Child Development, as well as a senior Delhi Police officer, at least of the rank of DC who is to be nominated by the Commissioner within 24 hours, personally responsible for the maintenance of law and order at all the homes."
Kale alleged that as multiple authorities had interfered in the administration of these homes, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR), the Supervision Committee of the Juvenile Justice Board and NGOs had not been able to control the situation.
According to media reports, on December 17, a group of minors had escaped from the Seva Kutir Home in the Mukherjee Nagar area after going on an eight-hour rampage during which they indulged in rioting, vandalism and arson.
Meanwhile, NHRC today said it will carry out surprise checks at the juvenile home to ensure that such incidents were not repeated.
In a statement today, NHRC also said it had sought a report from Delhi government on the matter.
NHRC decided to act in the case after taking suo motu cognisance of a media report which quoted a juvenile as saying that it was dangerous living at the said home as there were daily brawls and beatings taking place there.
NHRC directed its Director General (Investigation) to constitute a team for random checks at the home.
It issued a notice to the Secretary of the Delhi government`s Department of Social Welfare calling for a report within four weeks on the rioting incident.