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Probe orphanage abuse: Delhi HC

The Delhi high court on Wednesday directed the newly appointed administrator of Arya Anathalaya to look into the alleged incidents of sexual abuse and harassment of children inside the orphanage at Daryaganj.

delhi Updated: Feb 16, 2012 01:27 IST
Harish V Nair

The Delhi high court on Wednesday directed the newly appointed administrator of Arya Anathalaya to look into the alleged incidents of sexual abuse and harassment of children inside the orphanage at Daryaganj.

A bench headed by acting chief justice AK Sikri and justice RS Endlaw also made it clear that it would go into the "larger issue" of registration of orphanages in the capital.

Lieutenant Governor had appointed an administrator for the orphanage on Tuesday.

The judges also issued notices to the Centre and Delhi Government, seeking their stand on the issue and sought replies within three weeks.

"Persons against whom prima-facie charges have been established (some older residents and staff members) are still inside the orphanage. Let this aspect also be brought to the attention of the administrator. Let him take steps to address the issue", the Bench said.

The court was hearing a plea for remedial steps by Bharti Ali of the voluntary organisation Haq Foundation that brought to light the incidents. Their findings were based on personal interviews and interaction with the children who live in the orphanage.

Lawyer VP Chaudhary, also the president of the orphanage, denied the allegations and said a "deliberate attempt was being made to tarnish the image of the orphanage".

He questioned the appointment of an administrator, saying there was no provision under the law for it.

"False allegations are being made and we are not being given a chance to defend ourselves. We still do not have access to the post-mortem report of the 11-year-old girl who is said to have died inside the orphanage or the report of the Child Welfare Committee indicting the orphanage".

But justice Sikri retorted: "Right now we have not come to any conclusion. See there is some evidence. Findings are based on some investigations. If all these are indeed happening, let there be some corrective measures".