As parents of abandoned Chiku refused to accept him, the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) Tuesday said they will take action against the parents if they don’t take the child back.
Chiku, now six months old, was abandoned by his parents, Rajiv Kumar and Sunita in June last year soon after he was born at St. Stephens hospital as he suffered a brain haemorrhage. The child is being brought up by the hospital staff since then.
‘We shall initiate action against the parents,’ DCPCR Chairman Amod Kanth said.
According to staff at the hospital, Chiku’s parents abandoned him saying they cannot look after him.
‘We cannot bear such a child. We want a normal child. If the child can be made normal by the hospital, we will take him home, otherwise we won’t,’ Rajiv Kumar had said.
‘We had issued notice to the parents to take the child back. The period of the notice will lapse Wednesday, after that action will be initiated,’ a DCPCR official told IANS.
‘Action will be taken under section 317 (exposure and abandonment of child under twelve years, by parent or person having care of it) of the Indian Penal Code if they refuse to accept the child,’ he said.
The section provides for imprisonment up to seven years or fine, or both.
Asked if the commission would think of giving the child for adoption, the DCPCR official said that it will be the last recourse.
‘Adoption will be the last recourse. If the parents don’t accept the child they will be jailed. After that we will see how to settle the child,’ he said.
According to the official, this was the second notice sent to the parents. The first was sent to all parties including the hospital.
‘We had first issued a notice to all responsible parties including the hospital. The parents alleged that the haemorrhage was due to medical negligence so the child was taken to LNJP hospital for a check up which gave a report that it was not the hospital’s fault,’ the official said, ‘after that we sent a notice to the parents asking to take the child back’.
While Chiku’s parents refused to take the child back, his mother even questioned if the doctors will give a free treatment to the child if any thing goes wrong in future.
‘Will the hospital give free treatment if something goes wrong with him in future,’ Sunita told a TV channel.
The child’s father, Rajiv Kumar works with the Municipal Corporation of Delhi while the mother Sunita works in a central school.
‘Both the parents are well-off and educated, yet they are treating the child like a commodity which they won’t accept until repaired,’ the DCPCR official said.