High Court summons civic body Secretary

A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Monday directed the Kochi Corporation Secretary to appear before the court on June 4 to explain the condition of the Palluruthy relief settlement centre.

The bench comprising Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice K. Vinod Chandran issued the directive on a petition filed by P.J. Peter seeking directives to the corporation to prevent begging, particularly child begging, in the corporation area where soliciting alms has been banned.

The court observed that in spite of the matter pending before the court, the counsel for the corporation had not appeared before the court.

The petitioner pointed out that children were seen begging on streets despite the fact that it had been banned. There was a mafia involved in running the begging network. The petitioner also said that the condition of the children sent to the relief settlement was very pathetic. There were many shortcomings in the running of the settlement centre. It lacked man power and medical facilities. The children rescued from the streets were often forced to stay with persons with various ailments such as mental disabilities. This posed a threat to the future of the children.

The petitioner said the corporation was also dumping waste such as broken tar bins, posing a health hazard to the inmates.

The petitioner sought a directive to take urgent steps to create facilities for the rescue and rehabilitation of child beggars.

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