HC orders shifting of kids to govt-run home

The Delhi high court on Wednesday ordered immediate transfer of children staying at a Najafgarh children's home to a government-run home after seeing photographs of their pitiable condition.

Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva also ordered a police investigation against Prem Dham Ashram, Najafgarh, a children's home operated by NGO Human Care International.

"Concerned DCP is directed to investigate into the allegations against the home and also examine the complaints received by the government with regard to sexual exploitation," the court directed while hearing a plea filed by Prem Dham Ashram.

"The DCP should also ensure that children in the petitioner home care were immediately handed over to the government and shifted to appropriate child care home today itself," the court added.

Earlier, the ashram had moved HC claiming the Delhi government's women and child welfare department was forcing it to hand over children in the home to the child welfare committee, but the children had refused to shift to Nirmal Chhaya.

Transfer of the children in the middle of academic session could be detrimental to their studies, the owner of the home claimed, also stressing that the facility had been granted recognition by the state government. The owner said the ashram had been taking care of their food, lodging and tuition.

Appearing for the AAP government, additional standing counsel Prabhsahay Kaur informed the HC that the home was hiding facts from it. She said that a surprise inspection of the home by the department threw up evidence that the children were kept in deplorable conditions. Some of the boys and girls were even kept together, the government told the court — placing photographs to prove ill-treatment.

When Justice Sachdeva saw the photographs he termed it "very disturbing" and recorded that these show "some of the girls were in semi or complete naked condition and that also in the presence of boys."

Trashing the claim of the home, the HC said the allegations by the government and its child welfare committee was "fortified from the photographs shown." It ordered the ashram to immediately hand over the custody of the children to the CWC, who should transfer them to appropriate child care home.

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