Monday, March 4, 2024

Delhi High Court seeks response from Delhi govt, Child Rights Commission, Delhi Police on beggars

The Delhi High Court on Friday sought the response from the Delhi Government, Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR), Delhi Police and other concerned departments, on a plea highlighting the issue of child begging being prevalent in the national capital.

The Division Bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Amit Bansal issued notice on the plea seeking directions to take appropriate steps for eradication of child begging in the city, and slated the matter for September 27.

The plea was filed as a public interest litigation by Ajay Gautam, a religious teacher, praying for strict implementation of the provisions contained in the Commission for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005, which provide for protection of children from all spheres of exploitation.

The plea highlighted that a similar petition was filed by the petitioner before the Delhi High Court in 2014, wherein vide order dated January 7, 2015, the Court directed the petitioner to first approach the DCPCR, and granted liberty to him to approach the Court again in case the Commission fails to respond.

In compliance of the foregoing order, the petitioner made a representation before the DCPCR on February 20, 2015, pointing out the issue and making certain suggestions in that regard. 

On September 4, 2015, the Commission recommended a slew of steps to be acted upon by various authorities, so as to tackle the menace. However, no effective action was taken thereon.

In light of the above, the plea sought implementation of the recommendations made by the DCPCR in its letter dated September 4, 2015; and a direction to the concerned authorities to file a Status Report in every three months on the steps taken. 

In addition, the plea prayed for identification of the number of destitute children who are involved or pushed into begging; and to facilitate counselling and rehabilitation of such children, along with provisions to educate them.

The plea also sought direction to the Station House Officers (SHOs) of all Police Stations to take appropriate steps for preventing child begging in the areas under their jurisdiction and to appoint a beat officer or division officer in this regard. Further, the plea prayed for directions to the Delhi Police to take action against the parents/guardian/paddlers, who force children into begging, in accordance with the provisions of POCSO Act, 2012.

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The plea stated, “Child beggars can be seen almost everywhere in Delhi, most commonly at traffic signals, railway stations, bus stands, religious places, colleges and popular markets. The department responsible for curbing this menace, has failed to take any remedial steps. 

“The Constitution of India, both in part III and IV, enshrines that nothing shall prevent the State from making every possible effort to provide best opportunities for development of children,” it added.


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