Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Wednesday directed the city police to take immediate steps to trace two minor boys, absconding from the Mentally Disabled Children (MDC) home in suburban Mankhurd here.
A division bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Amjad Sayed also directed the State Public Works Department (PWD) to fence boundary walls of the home in Mankhurd to prevent such incidents.
The bench was hearing a suo moto (on its own) public interest litigation following media reports on the poor condition of orphanage and MDC homes in the metropolis.
The reports were regarding the ordeal faced by 18 children at an orphanage in Kavdas, Panvel. The children were allegedly raped, kept hungry and physically assaulted by staff members.
The bench had then appointed a committee headed by Dr Asha Bajpai to look into the issue and submit enquiry report.
The committee report submitted today stated that two mentally disabled boys aged 14 and 12 are absconding from the MDC Home in Mankhurd since July 6 and November 11 this year.
When efforts to find them did not meet success, a complaint was lodged with the Trombay police.
The bench then directed the concerned police officer to take immediate steps to trace the two boys and submit a report on the next date of hearing on January 15.
"Security at the Mankhurd MDC Home needs to be strengthened," the committee report said.
It said the staff must be trained on how to deal with such children who have special needs.
"Two girls were beaten up by the staff at Mankhurd MDC home for expressing sexual behaviour. The staff instead of counselling the kids assaulted them. The staff should be trained on positive disciplining," the report further said.
The committee has also raised questions on mentally challenged girls being subjected to repeated gynaecological tests.
The bench has directed Principal Secretaries of Social Justice and Women and Child Welfare departments to hold a meeting with the committee.