New Delhi: Expressing anguish over the deplorable condition of an orphanage, run by an NGO, and the city government`s failure to improve it, the Delhi High Court has set up a team to inspect the home and sought its suggestion for relocation of the children.
Taking note of a report submitted by Advocate Richa Kapoor, who was appointed as Court Commissioner by it, that the home is not in a habitable state, a bench of S Ravindra Bhat and SP Garg directed the Ministry of Woman and Child Development of the Delhi government to furnish a list of such homes run by the NGOs in the city by May 25.
The bench set up a five-member committee comprising Secretary or her nominee of Delhi Legal Services Authority (DLSA), Director of concerned Child Welfare Committee, a Psychologist and a Paediatrician from Chacha Nehru Bal Chikitsalaya, Geeta Colony, Advocate Richa Kapoor, concreted DCP of the area and directed the members to inspect the orphanage "Apna Ghar" at Mansarovar Park in Shahdara area.
Issuing notice to the management of the NGO "Children of Mother Earth, Apna Ghar" which runs the orphanage and the Chairperson of the Child Welfare Committee(CWC)-V, Sansakar Ashram Complex in Dilshad Garden, the court sought their response by next date of hearing the case.
"The Secretary, Woman and Child Development, Government of Delhi, shall file a detailed affidavit listing out the number of such homes or institutions, and also mentioning the total number of children each such institution has....," the court said.
While hearing a man`s plea seeking custody of his child following the matrimonial discord, alleging that his child was lodged in a orphanage which is in a dilapidated state and unhygienic condition.
On May 17, the court appointed Kapoor as the commissioner who has filed a report saying, "the premise where the 30 odd children are housed in an utterly dilapidated condition. The records of orphanage do not appear to be in any order much less maintained in a systematic manner...Some children appear to be neglected and suffering from serious ailments."
"It is further unclear that how many of the children housed in the orphanage are in fact inmates which of them have parents....," the report also said.
Taking a serious view on the report that the management of the orphanage and also CWC have failed to provide the total number of children staying there, the bench asked the committee to "take such immediate and urgent steps for the welfare and rehabilitation of the children as may be necessary.
The government was further directed to follow the advice of the committee and take necessary steps to relocate the children on urgent basis.
"Take such immediate and urgent steps for the welfare and rehabilitation of the children as may be necessary. It is clarified that the GNCT of Delhi shall be guided by the advice of the committee and shall take all necessary steps to relocate the children if so required, on an urgent and immediate basis," the bench said.
Referring to the report alleging the concerned CWC`s failure to monitor the home and regulate the NGOs for running the homes in such condition, the court directed the Delhi government to take action against the Chairperson of CWC-V.
"The state is also directed to consider and take immediate appropriate action in regard to the glaring omission by the Chairperson of the CC, as is warranted.
"It has to be emphasised that the said official had directed the concerned police, without even seeing the condition of the child, who has parents, to place him in orphanage by itself betraying utter callousness," the bench said.