HC issues notices to Home Secretary, UT SSP on missing Snehalaya children

The Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued notices to UT Home Secretary, Director, Department of Social Welfare and Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Chandigarh on a public interest litigation filed by a local lawyer, Ravinder Singh Dhull, a resident of Sector 20.

The petitioner has sought directions to the respondents to initiate an independent inquiry by an independent agency like the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for probing the doubtful disappearance of children from Snehalaya, a home for destitutes in Maloya village.

Referring to various media reports, the petitioner has submitted that the respondents have been requested several times for improvement of the infrastructure and protection of children from any mishap but to no avail.

"An unwanted incident happened in 2010 wherein a 13-year-old minor girl was raped. Further, as many as six inmates of Snehalaya disappeared from the Institute. No genuine efforts were made to recover the children. The authorities did not increase the security in and around Snehalaya. Also, ten children in total went missing from the institute", reads the petition.

The petitioner has also alleged that the Chandigarh Police acted in a "careless and casual manner" right from the beginning. "Negligence of no officer has been fixed till now which raises apprehension in the mind of the petitioner that the same may be because of a racket of human trafficking prevailing in the institute" reads the petition.

Taking stock of the contentions raised, the High Court today issued notices to the respondents.

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