The Bombay High Court has ordered the state to file its reply affidavit after taking seriously a public interest litigation (PIL) alleging physical and emotional torture and abuse of children with disabilities in the Children’s Home run by a society in Mankhurd.
The PIL was filed by a man who lives near the Children’s Home in Mankhurd, which is run by the Society. The children’s home is funded and controlled by the state government.
Given the serious charges in the PIL, a division bench consisting of Chief Justice DK Upadhayaya and Justice Arif Doctor additionally nominated senior attorney Zubin Behramkamdin and attorney Gulnar Mistry as amicus curiae (friends of the court).
What the PIL Says:
As stated in the PIL the man said that the children, “who are subject to insufficient food supplies and unsanitary living conditions and some suffering both mental and physical abuse,” astounded him during his visits. He continued by saying that the tiny area “where they ate, fell asleep and defecated was locked up and used only for children with severe and multiple disabilities.”
The Bombay High Court accepted a PIL that charged the maltreatment of prisoners on a physical and mental level. According to the petitioner, they were “made to perform all menial tasks, including cleaning restrooms and bathrooms”, abused and beaten quite hard and threatened not to speak to anyone about the harassment they shall be implicated in false cases.
In his PIL, he mentioned particular instances of mistreatment. He had made complaints to the police commissioner as well as the state’s social justice and women and child development departments, but nothing had been done. He demanded that the workers and the principal be punished.
High Court Strict Action:
Ajay Jaiswal, the attorney for the petitioner, claimed that there was no CCTV footage of the area and that evidence had been destroyed. Children who complained, according to him, were moved.
Himanshu Kode, the principal’s attorney from the society, claimed that no violations had been discovered by four authorities, including the Child Welfare Committee and, ccording to Kode, the police declined to file an FIR because no crime was committed and according to him, the PIL was no longer valid because it had turned into a personal interest litigation once the petitioner activated the police machinery.
“Considering the seriousness of the accusations and the sensitivity surrounding the children’s residence for mentally challenged and children with special needs.” The justices ruled that an investigation is necessary given the PIL’s accusations’ nature.
The petition’s charges, according to Justice Doctor, “shock the conscience.” The PIL relates to children who have mental disabilities, according to the judges, and the state is required to respond.
Chief Justice Devendra Kumar Upadhyaya and Justice Arif Doctor stated during the court trial that we have appointed senior attorney Zubin Behramkamdin and attorney Gulnar Mistry as amicus curiae to support the court in this cause.