New Delhi: Delhi police has appointed a nodal officer of the rank of Joint Commissioner to the Department of Women and Child Development to hold meetings with its Secretary on issues related to juvenile homes, the Delhi High Court was on Wednesday informed.
The police, however, sought more time from a bench headed by Justice Ravindra Bhat to work out the modalities to ensure deputation or posting of required number of police personnel to the Women and Child Development (WCD) department.
"A meeting shall be held between the Commissioner of Police and Principal Secretary of WCD department in a week from today to work out the modalities," the bench said and listed the matter for further hearing on September 17.
The court on July 8 had directed the city government and police to "put into operation" at the earliest the mechanism evolved by them to deal with emergent situations at observation homes for juveniles.
The order has been passed after the WCD department and Delhi Police had submitted a joint affidavit stating the mechanism devised by them.
According to the affidavit submitted on July 8, the Principal Secretary of WCD Department and Commissioner of Police (CP) had a meeting on July 7 where it was decided to appoint a Joint CP of Special Police Unit for Women and Children (SPUWAC) as nodal officer to hold meetings with Secretary of WCD Department to discuss issues related to juvenile homes.
It was also decided at the meeting that in order to deal with emergent situations, the officer-in-charge of the observation home shall contact the ACP, Command Room, Police Control Room for taking action including deployment of force to deal with the emergency, the affidavit had said.
The affidavit was filed after the court on May 29 had asked CP and Delhi government to re-examine the proposal for appointing a senior-level police official as a nodal officer to coordinate with the WCD department in relation to safety and security of juvenile homes.
The court had earlier asked the CP and Principal Secretary of WCD Department to hold a meeting and "sort out" the "ego issues".
Under the earlier proposal, the Principal Secretary had to coordinate with an Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police, who will require clearance from officers two-three ranks above him before he can take a decision.
Prior to that, WCD department had in a status report, said it had requested Delhi Police to designate a Joint CP-level officer as a nodal person to coordinate with it on issues relating to safety and security of observation homes.
The department had also said a separate cell was required to be set up under it which should be headed by an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) and include 3-4 police officers.
Delhi Police, however, did not agree with the proposal of the department. In February, after some juveniles escaped from an observation home here, the high court had directed the city government to immediately deploy DGR personnel at such probation homes.
The government, however, had told the court that this would take time as the modalities need to be worked out. The government had earlier also told the court that a pilot project, meant to engage juveniles inside the observation homes, would be started and the "expression of interest" has been called for from interested parties.
The court had taken suo motu cognisance of news reports on December 16 last year that a group of delinquent minors had escaped from an observation home after an eight-hour rampage during which they indulged in rioting, vandalism and arson.
Similar incidents had taken place in other observation homes after the incident. Castigating the authorities for their failure to control rioting in juvenile homes here, the court had directed the government and the police to ensure law and order and segregate the children involved in heinous crime in these shelters. It had also asked the police to step up efforts to control the situation.