The Delhi High Court Wednesday issued a notice to the central and Delhi governments following media reports of sexual assault and harassment of children at an orphanage in the Daryaganj area of the national capital.
The division bench of Acting Chief Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Rajiv Shah Endlaw sought responses from the central government, the city government and central Delhi’s Arya Orphanage within three weeks.
Taking suo moto cognizance of media reports after receiving emails from one Bharti Ali, the court also sought a report from the administrator appointed by Delhi’s lt. governor to look into the allegations by next Wednesday.
Counsel appearing for Arya orphanage submitted that all allegations against the orphanage were baseless and that the court could appoint a judicial officer to inquire the matter.
“One cannot rule out that such things never happened in the orphanage. If such things have happened, it is your responsibility to take correct action,” the court observed while saying that it is looking into the larger aspects, including orphanages running without registering under the relevant laws.
Compiled by NGO Haq Foundation and based on personal interviews and interactions with children who live in Arya Orphanage in Daryaganj, the report alleged that older residents and the staff members subjected a number of children to physical abuse and sexual assault.
According to the NGO, the “older boys” as well the warden of the orphanages had been sodomising the younger boys.