The Delhi high court on Friday summoned the Delhi police commissioner after it took note of police's failure to protect volunteers of an NGO who were trying to rescue 22 child labourers from an east Delhi construction site.
Some local goons at the spot allegedly assaulted the volunteers of the 'Save the Childhood Foundation' on Thursday.
"We cannot ignore the right of children. Let these authorities explain as to how this situation can be redeemed and also the future course of action they are planning to take to avoid such untoward situations," a division bench of chief justice Dipak Misra and justice Sanjiv Khanna said.
Besides the police commissioner, the bench also demanded the presence of the assistant commissioner of police, secretaries of labour and welfare departments, divisional commissioner of Delhi government and the deputy commissioner of police of east Delhi, where the alleged incident took place.
"Despite the directions of the high court ... only four policemen from Geeta Colony police station were present in the rescue operation," senior lawyer H S Phoolka appearing for the NGO told the court.
"Anti-social elements cannot take law into their hands. Such kind of behaviour is not tolerable in a civilised society. From this incident, it is clear that authorities have failed to comply with their own devised guidelines in 2009 for rescuing child labour, it is very shameful," the bench said.
Standing counsel for the police Pawan Sharma blamed the NGO for "not informing the local police" before proceeding on any rescue operation.