Shelter homes: HC asks Maharashtra govt to submit report

MentalAccording to the petition, six destitute children carried visible signs of fresh and old wounds and complained of having been physically abused by one Mr Mane. (IE)

Observing that it wants action and not affidavits, the Bombay High Court on Thursday directed the Maharashtra government to submit a report on action taken by it towards implementation of recommendations given by a committee on shelter homes for children with special needs.

The government in its report shall also state about the non-availability of child care and rehab centres for such children in Pune district, the court said.

A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice M S Sanklecha was hearing a public interest litigation filed by NGO Disabilities Rights Initiative regarding the condition of six destitute boys, who were allegedly physically abused at the Yerwada mental facility.

"We don't want affidavits. We want action taken reports. We want action to be taken based on the recommendations submitted by the committee headed by Dr Asha Bajpayee," the court said.

According to the petition, the six boys were kept at the Yerwada facility along with adults suffering from mental disorders. It was also found that the children carried visible signs of fresh and old wounds and complained of having been physically abused by one Mr Mane.

The High Court had on the last hearing directed for the boys to be shifted to Sasoon Hospital. However, the hospital had informed the court that the boys have been treated and will now have to be shifted to a shelter home for further care.

The court was on Thursday informed by the state's Social Welfare and Justice department that the boys would be shifted to the shelter home in suburban Mankhurd here.

Last year, all four homes for special children in Pune district - Shriram Development and Rehabilitation centre in Daund, Anand Mahila Balkalyan Sanstha in Shirur, Jijamata Shikshan Prasarak Mandal and Sankalp Trust in Donje, were closed down by the state government for serious administrative violations.

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