The Uttarakhand High Court has passed a string of directions ranging from regular inspection of custodial institutions, separation of normal and mentally ill inmates to strict action against those employing children for begging or drug peddling or anyone meting out corporal punishment to children in child care institutions and loans to the inmates of After Care Organization to set up entrepreneurial activities.
In this matter, the Court directed in the case of sexual harassment of the deaf and dumb convict at Nari Niketan in Dehradun by a sweeper in which five prosecution witnesses examined.
The Court also ordered suspension and disciplinary proceedings against Ramesh Chandra Kashyap who is the music teacher at the National Institute for the Visually Handicapped at Dehradun for sexually harassing a child.
Further, the bench was deciding a PIL filed by Shivangi Gangwar related to the molestation, rape, harassment and victimization of Nari Niketan. The petitioner informed the court that the state government is running three Nari Niketans and two shelter homes. The conditions of these Nari Niketans are terrible. The mentally retarded parents are kept with their child that is not permissible under the law. Fourteen children were suffering from malnutrition and taken to a hospital.
The news reports presented to the District Magistrate of Uttarakhand visiting the shelter homes where he noticed dreadful conditions, lack of recreational facilities and that the inmates to move out except for visiting court or hospital for treatment and no step is taken to restore the inmates to their guardians.
Eventually, the bench passed some general directions dealing with child protection and management of child care institutions are given below:
- The state government is directed to constitute State Child Protection Society and District Child Protection Unit for every district to take up matters relating to children under Section 106 of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.
- The state government is directed to give wide publicity through media including regular intervals so as to make the general public, children and their parents or guardians aware of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.
- The persons-in-charge are ordered to stay within the premises so that he is readily available whenever required by the children or the staff.
- The state government directed to issue basic directions to all the child care institutions which deal with the release of a child from child care institutions under section 97 of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.