The Delhi High Court on Monday issued notice in a public interest litigation seeking enactment of law or policies for the protection of rights of children on streets, for enacting law or policies to curb child begging and for making adequate arrangements of such children at child care institutes.
A division bench comprising of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jasmeet Singh issued notice to the Respondents namely GNCTD, Ministry of Women and Child Development, GNCTD, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Delhi Commisioner of Police, NHRC and Child Welfare Committee.
The plea, filed by Piyush Chhabra, a 2010 law graduate and a lawyer practicing in Delhi, highlights the exploitation of children on streets specially from the age group of infants and 8 years of age.
"That the exploitation and menace is quite open over the streets and the respondents are duty bound to curb the same and looking at the urgency and taking on account the on-going pandemic no representation was given to the respondents. It is pertinent to mention here that on occasions petitioner called 100 no. when he found infants in the hands of minor children. That for the present cause of action the petitioner has not filled any Writ/PIL earlier and no such petition on behalf of petitioner is pending." The plea reads.
Furthermore, the plea states thus:
"Childhood development is considered a most critical period of life that influences the quality of health, well-being, learming and behaviour across the life span of an individual. Abuse and neglect of children is referred to as child maltreatment and is unfortunately made for the benefits or advantage of someone else which often results in the child being treated unjustly, cruelly and illegally."
The plea states the following prayers:
- To issue directions to the Respondents to protect the rights of the children upon the streets of Delhi.
- To issue directions to Respondents thereby directing Respondents to make proper arrangements for the children at Child Care Institutes.
- To issue the directions to the Respondents to make appropriate Policies /Law to curb the terrible situations of the children at street.
- To direct the Respondents no.4 to produce these children before Respondents no.6 and further look into the cases where criminal offence is made out against the persons who pushed these children to the streets.
- To issue the directions to Respondents no.5 to take necessary actions for curb human right violations of children.
- To issue directions to Respondents for passing appropriate orders to send these children to child care institutes.
- To direct Respondent no. 4 to verify the identity of these impoverished children and also their paternity to ascertain the true identity of these children, specially of infants.
- To direct Respondent no. 4 to take appropriate legal action against such adults who promote child begging or use helpless children as a tool to promote begging.