Report in HC says inmates at Delhi’s de-addiction centres sexually assaulted
The report submitted in Delhi High Court after inspection of 124 de-addiction centres, was described as most shocking by the benchdelhi Updated: Jun 02, 2018 10:22 IST
A report submitted to the Delhi High Court by the Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA) about the state of de-addiction centres in the national capital has revealed that several inmates, 750 of them who have been kept involuntarily, have been assaulted both physically and sexually at these centres.
Describing the revelations as “most shocking”, a bench of Justice S Muralidhar and Justice IS Mehta said the “right to basic human dignity of persons desperately in need of care and treatment is being violated with impunity”. It said that such incidents have to be stopped immediately.
Terming the situation as paradoxical, the bench said that it cannot countenance keeping persons incarcerated in such inhumane conditions under the pretext of treatment for de-addiction.
The report submitted by advocate Sumer Kumar Sethi, was submitted after inspection of 124 de-addiction centres, 28 of which were found to be closed. It highlighted a large number of irregularities in the operation of these places as most do not have adequate infrastructure, security arrangement or staff.
Appearing for the DSLSA, Sethi said the sanitation, hygienic, ventilation and toilet facilities were also not good in these centres. The report said that in one of the centres inspected, five patients were illegally detained in a locked room and subjected to physical torture.
It also said the inmates were not being provided beds and were made to sleep on mattresses on the floor. It reported that they were required to perform menial tasks in the centre failing which their food rations were drastically reduced.
The court noted thatno “discernible progress”appears to be made despite show cause notices to these centres. In wake of the incidents of sexual assault, the court directed that the report submitted by Sethi on behalf of the DSLSA be sent to the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Rajesh Deol not later than June 4.
The bench also said it expects the Delhi Police to act on DSLSA’s report and also visit the specific centres where it has been recorded that the inmates are being subjected to inhumane treatment. It said that the police should contact the nearest government health facility where treatment could be provided to such inmates who have been involuntarily confined in these centres.
It also directed the Delhi police to initiate proceedings in accordance with law.
Earlier this year, the MCDs had issued showcause notices to close to 100 of these illegal de-addiction centres to close them down if found with no regulatory approval.
The court has now fixed July 12 as the next date of hearing to review the situation.