The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has asked the district magistrate and police commissioner to submit an action taken report (ATR) within four weeks in the case relating to a minor boy whom the administration rescued on September 9 from the house of a retired senior superintendent of police (SSP) following a complaint of bonded labour.
The rights body had also sent the copy of letter (a copy of which is with Hindustan Times) to the Punjab home secretary over this incident on September 18.
Vinod Kumar Tikko, former member of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, had complained to the commission over the administration’s inaction in this incident and violations of guidelines issued by respective authorities in this regard.
He had sent his complaint on September 16.The complaint was sent to the police commissioner and the district magistrate asking to file an action taken report within four weeks after forwarding its copy for taking appropriate action in the matter as per the directions of the rights commission.
Investigations have revealed that the boy, who was shifted to an orphan house after he was rescued, is still there.
Even as the guidelines of Juvenile Justice Act state that a victim’s medical examination should be conducted immediately after rescue operation, the boy’s medical test was held after 48 hours of his rescue from the retired police officer’s house.
Meanwhile, the child labour department claimed that the boy’s age is above 14 years so this case does not come under their purview.
The report submitted by the sub-divisional magistrate- 1 said it was not a case of bonded labour and it was upon the child welfare committee to act on this.
Genda Lal Yadav, the boy’s father, claimed that his son is 12-year-old and his birth date is November 13, 2002. He alleged discrepancies in the medical examination of his son.
“My son continues to live at an orphan house despite the fact that I and his mother are alive. This is gross injustice. I want my son back,” Yadav said.
Dinesh, a member of Bachpan Bachao Andolan, said, “It is sheer negligence on part of the administration. He should have been referred to a children home rather than an orphanage. The administration failed to do so.”
“I met the deputy commissioner two days ago in this regard and he claimed that the case had been referred to the police commissioner,” he said.
Deputy commissioner KK Yadav was unavailable for comments despite HT repeatedly contacted him.