Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Thursday pulled
up the Maharashtra government over the death of a ten-year-old
tribal girl due to weakness and lack of blood in a state-run
ashramshala in Dahanu taluka.
A division bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and
Justice A M Khanwilkar has directed the state government to
explain the reason for the girl`s death and to submit an
action taken report within a week.
The High Court had on the last hearing directed the state
and central government to initiate departmental action against
those officers responsible for the poor condition in
The court had taken suo-moto cognizance of the deaths of
five children between September and October 2007 in
government-run asharamshalas at Dahanu in Thane district.
The court was today informed that on September 19, the
body of Vaishali Merya (10) was found near her school in
Talasari. A medical officer had stated that the reason for
Vaishali`s death was "weakness and deficiency of blood".
The court today, however, observed that a child cannot
suddenly die due to weakness and lack of blood without
"It is expected of the state government to look after
adivasi children and ensure that their fundamental rights are
protected," the bench observed.
In the reply, the government will also have to clarify
the allegations levelled regarding siphoning of funds meant
for tribal welfare.
An inquiry conducted by the CBI after the death of the
five children, into the quality of food served at the
ashramshalas has revealed that the foodgrains were infested
with insects, larvae and rat excreta.
The CBI has filed chargesheet against four officers on
September 10 this year, for procuring foodgrains for the
ashramshalas without following the established procedure.