Andhra Pradesh

A.P. High Court panel takes suo moto notice of NGO home sexual abuse case

The Juvenile Justice Committee (JJC) of the Andhra Pradesh High Court has taken a suo moto notice of the alleged sexual abuse of mentally-retarded and differently-abled children of a private NGO home by its organiser.

The Disha Mahila Police registered a case under POCSO Act, Section 376 of the IPC (for sexually assaulting special children) and Section 75 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act in connection with the incident.

NTR District Police Commissioner Kanthi Rana Tata said one of the accused, Y. Venkateswara Rao, had been arrested and sent in judicial remand, while the remaining accused were at large.

“We have deployed special teams to arrest the other accused in the case,” said Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) V.V. Naidu.

Based on the news published in The Hindu on June 17, the High Court JJ Committee took suo moto notice of the case. It directed the Revenue, Women Development and Child Welfare (WD&CW), Disabled Welfare, Juvenile Welfare and the Police Departments to submit details of the case on June 20.

Though the alleged sexual abuse came to light on June 16, the officials did not seize the records, attendance registers and other documents from the NGO home even after five days.

Violation of norms

The private home organisers reportedly took permission for running a school from the School Education Department, for a home for special children from the Disabled Welfare Department and for providing shelter for boys from the Juvenile Welfare Department at one place in violation of norms.

The District Inspection Committee (DIC), comprising five members from Juvenile Welfare, Child Welfare Committee, medical officer, psychiatrist and a member of civil society, which visited the home, reportedly submitted a report stating that the inmates were doing well in the home.

Speaking to The Hindu on Sunday, B.D.V. Prasad Murthy, joint director of Juvenile Welfare, Correctional Services and Welfare of Street Children, said the District Probation Officer (DPO), who was the Member Secretary of DIC, visited the home along with the other members recently, but had not mentioned anything about the sexual abuse of the special children in the home.

Commission reacts

AP State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (AP SCPCR) Chairman Kesali Appa Rao, who inquired into alleged sexual exploitation of the inmates, questioned how boys and girls, more than 100 in number, were accommodated in a single home.

“Why the officials have not seized the documents from the home so far and why no action has been taken against the DIC and the District Child Protection Officer (DCPO) who reportedly gave a clean report?” the Chairman asked and directed the officials to seal the home immediately.

Commission Member J. Rajendra Prasad directed the officials to inquire into the incident and submit a report to the government.

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Printable version | Jun 19, 2022 10:22:17 pm |