NHRC takes suo motu cognizance of a media report about inhuman treatment to inmates at NOIDA Juvenile Home; directs for an spot investigation by its own team (14.12.2017)
New Delhi, 14th December, 2017
The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC has taken suo motu cognizance of a media report that amidst torture, abuse and disease, Home for juveniles itself needs course correction in NOIDA, Uttar Pradesh. Citing an inspection of the Home by the District Legal Services Authority (DLSA), the media report has carried several references to the kind of inhuman treatment being meted out to the young juveniles there.
The Commission, expressing serious concern over the reported mismanagement of juveniles, has asked its DIG (Investigation) to depute a team, headed by an officer of the rank of the Senior Superintendent of Police, for conducting spot investigation into the matter and submit a report within two weeks.
The Commission has observed that the objective of a Juvenile Home is to guide the youngsters, found involved in criminal activities, towards the correct direction for introspection and improvement. The scenario emerging out of the news report indicates that the Noida juvenile Home, instead of guiding the young juveniles to become a better citizen, is pushing them towards crime oriented activities by treating them in grossly negligent and cruel manner.
It has further observed that it is the duty of the State to take care of its citizens, especially, belonging to vulnerable classes like juveniles, when they are under its custody. The management of the Home is not only subjecting the young juveniles to harassment but also inciting them to become accustomed criminals. Such inhuman treatment to the young inmates by the Home authorities amounts to gross violation of human rights.
According to the media report, carried on the 11th December, 2017, "a 16 year old boy, recently released from the Home, spent most of his detention worrying about how to organise cash to buy access to his family members on visitor days. Not paying up could mean much worse than missing the meeting; it could be a simple beating at the hands of "seniors" on a lucky day. On bad ones, it would spell hours of torture, head-dunking in the wash basin or toilet pot, and one's face being urinated upon."
Reportedly, the state of affairs inside the Home came to light after an inspection was conducted by the District Legal Services Authority (DLSA), on the 7th December, 2017, raising concern about serious flaws in the way the Home is being run. During inspection, the inmates showed their injury marks and named seven 'seniors' having been in cahoots with certain officials of the Home, in extorting money to allow other inmates to meet their families. The report further reveals that the inmates have stated that these seniors urinate on their faces, if they do not pay them money and shove their heads in the toilet basin.
The news report further states that an Advocate, Aneet Baghel, who is also a member of the Juvenile Justice Board, conducted an inspection of the Home on the 4th November, 2017. He was told by the inmates that they are asked to pay Rs. 500-700 per visit of their families. They are also asked to wash clothes and clean toilets, if they do not pay. Even in winters, the juvenile inmates were found walking without shoes or sandals.
Allegedly, the latest victim of the extortion racket was a cook who was poked in the eye, injuring it. A letter, written by mother of one of the inmates, reveals that there is one person, who visits the Home every few days to collect money from the inmates. The hygiene appeared to be another major concern, as most of the inmates have been found suffering from skin disease including pimples, acne and rashes. The District Magistrate, Gautam Budh Nagar, Uttar Pradesh has, reportedly, gone through the reports submit by the DLSA and has directed the Chief Medical Officer to take a call.