The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has directed Punjab chief secretary and the state director general of police to get a fresh inquiry conducted from a gazetted officer of the crime branch and the Crime Investigation Department (CID) in the case of a minor boy, rescued from the Urban Estate house of retired senior SSP on September 9, 2014.
The commission has also ordered that the life and liberty of the victim and his family members be ensured and adequate action be taken against the delinquent officer. The orders have come after the commission pursued the reports sent by police commissioner and district magistrate into the incident.
The commission said the authorities had not recorded the statement of the complainant and the members of the NGO, while preparing the report.
"The allegation that the retired SSP was influencing the inquiry has some merit and the district administration has not paid any heed to the grievances of the complainant," the NHRC goes on to add.
A former member of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Vinod Kumar Tikko, had complained to the NHRC alleging inaction by the administration.
NHRC also ordered that complainant, victim child, victim's family members and other witnesses who were present during the rescue operation must be allowed to join the inquiry.
He added that appropriate steps be taken for the rehabilitation and welfare of the child.
Dinesh, an activist of the Bachpan Bachao Andolan, who had complained to the Child Welfare Committee, showed satisfaction over the development. "The police and the district failed to take serious action in the case." He added that the victim had been discharged from a childcare home in Hoshiarpur two months ago.
"Now, none of the authorities are aware of the whereabouts of victim and his family," he claimed.
Confusion over age
The school certificate of the boy shows age around 12 years ago, but a medical examination conducted through the labour department at the civil hospital had reported the age more than 14 or 15 years, after which the labour department had shifted the case to the sub-divisional magistrate, claiming that the case did not come under its purview.