Rescued minor labourers to be tested for COVID-19

The Delhi High Court has ordered COVID-19 testing for 10 child labourers, who were rescued from Vivek Vihar area here and are currently housed in a child care institution run by Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA).

A Bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan ordered that the test will be carried out by the government and the sample shall be collected either at the institution or at the office of the sub-divisional magistrate of the area.

“The authorities will ensure that all precautions for the welfare of the child are taken, and that the sample is expeditiously collected, so that the child can return to the home/institution,” the HC Bench said.

The High Court’s order came on plea by BBA seeking to make arrangements for COVID-19 testing of rescued children to be done at children’s home and not by physically taking the child to a government hospital.

Recording statement

Advocate Prabhsahay Kaur, appearing for BBA, stated that on July 9, following a rescue operation conducted on BBA’s complaint, the 10 minor children were rescued. Ms. Kaur said that the 10 children were sent to BBA’s Children’s Home, Mukti Ashram which is a short-term rehabilitation centre registered as a Child Care Institution under the Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Act.

Shesaid the Child Welfare Committee directed the police to get the statement of the rescued children recorded in a local court.

The investigating officer, took five of the rescued children to the court despite BBA’s request to hold the statement recording proceeding through videoconferencing in view of the prevailing pandemic.

Following her plea, the High Court noted, “The interest of children who require care and protection necessitates that their exposure to crowded environments be avoided in the prevailing circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic”.

“In fact, as far as possible, they should not be required to leave the premises of the Child Care Institution in which they are housed,” the high court said.

The High Court directed the Metropolitan Magistrate to record the statements of the minor over video conferencing or if necessary by visiting the Child Care Institutions.

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Printable version | Aug 5, 2021 5:01:49 AM |

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