Expressing concern about the way ashramshalas (resident schools) are being run in the state, the high court asked the government to appoint an IAS officer as project officer in the ashramshalas.
The high court was hearing a suo motu petition on the sorry state of affairs at these ashramshalas run by the state for tribal children where minor girls have been raped and children have died due to lack of medical treatment. Earlier, a tribal girl was repeatedly raped by a superintendent of an ashramshala in Palghar and she was allegedly pregnant.
Additional government pleader Pradeep Patil said seven staff members of the ashramshala at Palghar were suspended.
On Friday, the division bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud directed the government to appoint an IAS officer as a project officer for the ashramshalas.
Advocate Geeta Mulekar, who was appointed amicus curie or friend of court, said a Government Resolution was issued on November 9, 1993, according to which an IAS officer was to be appointed as the project officer.
The chief justice expressed dissatisfaction that no action had been taken against any official in charge of the tribal development department (which handles the ashramshalas) over the Palghar case.
“If you (government) don’t do anything by the next date, then you better watch,” he said.
The CJ said: “These matters are of serious concern and life of minor girls are at stake as they are exposed to sexual offences.”
Additional solicitor general Rajendra Raghuvanshi said the CBI had lodged three first information reports (FIRs) in August 2008 for selling/purchasing infected foodgrains at inflated rates. However, the CBI has still not made any arrests in the case.
The high court has asked the CBI to complete the investigation and file a chargesheet within six weeks.