27 oct. 2008

Police shocks court with its lack of awareness

Du site MeriNews

After a shocking case of child negligence came up, a district court ordered an inquiry into the matter and demanded an explanation, to which Delhi police replied with an equally shocking answer. The police seems to have forgotten the law itself..

TWO-YEAR-old Prateek lost his way to home in 2004. He was subsequently found by the police, who handed him over to an orphanage, with no standing. The orphanage illegally gave the child for adoption to an industrialist, who showered the boy with all that money can buy. This went on for four years, till, by a court’s order in March, the boy was reunited with his biological parents, who are not rich.

Prateek has settled in his new home, but not without asking why his previous life was taken away from him. His story had thrown up several issues that our lawmakers don’t take into account, while dealing with children — insensitivity and ignorance being cardinal among them. Prateek’s story has also brought to the fore the police’s helplessness, when they find an child abandoned on the streets, the subsequent role and decisions of orphanages and societies that have such children in their custody — because every wrong decision scars the child.

To find out how many Prateeks suffer such checkered fates, additional district judge S Rathi had directed an inquiry into the matter. He was shocked with the answers filed recently.

Reports submitted by the deputy commissioner of police (legal cell) and assistant commissioner of police (vigilance) state that there was no lapse on their part in handing over the child to the orphanage ’Bal Vihar’ because the ’officers had no guidelines regarding the custody of an abandoned child’.

The court reminded the officers of the Juvenile Justice Act, which has laid down unequivocal guidelines that a neglected child should be produced before the child welfare committee or area magistrate within 24 hours.

However, while handing over Prateek to the ’shoddy’ orphanage in the Uttam Nagar, the police did not take note that ’Bal Vihar’ was not recognised by the juvenile justice board. Nor did they inquire about the child any time later, the court observed.

“The police officials are (in a way) denying the existence of the act and its benevolent provisions for minors.
There cannot be any justification for overlooking the concerned act and then claiming that there were no guidelines issued to the police,” said Rathi, castigating the senior ploicemen for their reports, who claimed they did not know what to do with the boy.

The judge has now prepared a questionnaire for the Delhi police commissioner, telling him that his force was insensitive towards Prateek, despite battling a chilling precedence in Nithari, which the judge said, was allowed to happen because of the police’s ’lackadaisical work culture’.

Determined to get better follow-ups by policemen in future, Rathi has also sent a copy of the order to the police training college at Jharoda Kalan, so that young recruits are apprised of their duties on this.

The registrar of societies has also been asked to take action against ’Bal Vihar’, which had ’illegally’ given the adoption of the child to industrialist Anil Jindal. Apart from this, the judge noted other serious irregularities in the working of the orphanage, that necessitated an inquiry, he said.

Aucun commentaire: