Taking up a public interest litigation seeking directions to constitute a special investigation team to inquire into the Rohtak shelter home inmates' sexual abuse case, the Punjab and Haryana high court has issued directions for immediate medical examination of the victim girls at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh.
A division bench comprising acting chief justice MM Kumar and justice Alok Singh also ordered that the medical examination report of inmates of the shelter home, run by one Jaswanti Devi, would be produced before the court on June 1.
The court also issued notice of motion to Haryana government while hearing a petition filed by advocate Utsav Singh Bains and directed authorities concerned to file a status report with regard to the investigations till date in the case.
Around 96 inmates of the shelter home run by non-governmental organization Bharat Vikas Sangh, mostly minor girls, had alleged that they were sexually abused, tortured, paraded naked by the shelter home's owner Jaswanti and her relatives. It has also come to light that Jaswanti also used to sell children from shelter home illegally.
During the hearing of the case, counsel for National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), Anil Malhotra, also placed on record the investigation report of NCPCR, a copy of which had already been sent to the Haryana chief secretary. NCPCR had conducted a surprise raid at the shelter home on May 10.
Taking the report prepared by NCPCR member Vinod Kumar Tikoo on record, the bench said that the report would assist the authorities to figure out names of the inmates of the shelter home and the other connected persons.
Bains has also sought directions from the bench to immediately transfer children of Rohtak shelter home to a safer home outside Haryana and preferably to Snehalaya, Chandigarh and to order the victim children's medical examination by a special team of female doctors.
On the basis of various media reports, the court was informed by the petitioner that the authorities concerned were trying their best to cover up the case as Jaswanti Devi had threatened to expose the government officers who frequently visited the shelter home where young girls were sexually abused.
The petitioner further prayed for setting up of a co-ordination committee to monitor and submit a detailed report regarding torture and abuse of children in various homes established for children in need of care and protection and in conflict with law.