28 July 2021 11:32 AM GMT
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights has informed the Delhi High Court that two children protection homes associated with Harsh Mander are prima facie in violation of child rights for the reason that various children were taken to CAA protest site.The development came after NCPCR had filed an affidavit in the petitions filed by Khushi Rainbow Home For Girls and Ummed Aman...
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights has informed the Delhi High Court that two children protection homes associated with Harsh Mander are prima facie in violation of child rights for the reason that various children were taken to CAA protest site.
The development came after NCPCR had filed an affidavit in the petitions filed by Khushi Rainbow Home For Girls and Ummed Aman Ghar for Boys run by the Centre for Equity Studies (CES) wherein Harsh Mander is a Director, thereby challenging the inspection reports and the procedure adopted by NCPCR for conducting inspection in the said homes.
According to the NCPCR, one of the girls told them that she along with 4-5 girls went to Jantar mantar during CAA protest.
"Therefore, the Commission prima facie was of the view that violation of child rights has happened in this matter and that taking children to the protest sites is prima facie a violation of Section 83(2) of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015."
It has also been prima facie observed by the commission that the inadequate facilities were given to children and that they were not being provided with the minimum standards of norms laid down by the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 and Rules, 2016 thereby being violative of Section 75 of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 and Section 491 of the IPC.
"Further, in Ummeed Aman Ghar, children have informed that elder boys were sent in protests and that one child had said that "Modi ji kewal hindu ki sunte hai aur Pakistan mein ladte hai" the affidavit reads.
The NCPCR has also informed the High Court that various other irregularities came to it's notice during inspection including financial irregularities as the institution was reluctant in disclosing their sources of funding and other relevant documents to the inspection team.
However, a rather different stand was taken by the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights which had relied on the stand taken by the NCPCR and stated thus:
"It is unclear from the provision how protesting against the government's policy decision and holding poor and even incorrect opinions about the Government can be termed as illegal. Any conclusion in that direction is the death knell of democracy."
Calling it "reckless observations", the DCPCR has stated that the conclusions drawn by NCPCR threatens the independent, impartial, neutral and sane nature that the Child Rights Commission ought to exhibit.
"They cannot be mediums for advancing a political ideology, subversion of democracy and punishing people for holding opinions, however different or inconvenient," the DCPCR affidavit reads.
"All citizens including children are well within their right to know, discuss, debate on any issue facing India and form their own conclusions. The fear expressed by the NCPCR is rooted in the belief that children are stupid, have no agency and cannot think at all. DCPCR vehemently opposes such a belief and expects greater dignity be accorded to children," it reads further.
A complaint was received by NCPCR from Kalinga Rights Forum, regarding violations of Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 in the two children homes alleging that children from only a particular religion were being housed in the Homes and that the organization was receiving hefty funds which are being used for illicit activities like religious conversion.
Cognizance was thereafter taken on the compliant by the NCPCR.
In a related development, the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights has differed from the views of the NCPCR on this issue. The DCPCR has filed a separate affidavit countering the NCPCR views as "reckless".
"Reckless Observations": DCPCR Refutes NCPCR's Allegations Against Harsh Mander Associated Children Homes In Delhi HC