A plea seeking a direction to the AAP government to disclose the reasons for the death of 11 patients at a home for mentally challenged in a span of two months, was filed in the Delhi High Court. The plea, which came up for hearing before a bench headed by Chief Justice G Rohini, also urged the court to order registration of FIRs against the erring officials on the basis of the post-mortem reports of the bodies.
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The matter came to light after a surprise inspection earlier this month by the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) which found the inhabitants living in extremely inhumane and unhygienic conditions. The DCW also said it had found that 11 patients had died in the facility in the last two months.
The public interest litigation (PIL) sought a direction to Delhi government’s Social Welfare Department, which runs the home for persons with mental disabilities. It also wanted an investigation into the reasons for alleged disappearance of around 250 inmates between 2001-2016,
The matter was listed for consideration on February 17.
Petitioner Salek Chand Jain, who claims to be a social worker, said in his plea that the DCW in its surprise visit at the Asha Kiran had even found women inmates walking about naked in the corridors. The inspection was conducted by DCW chairperson Swati Maliwal on February 4 night.
DCW has issued a notice to the social welfare department secretary and set up a separate inquiry committee to look into complaints against the home.
Highlighting severely unsanitary conditions and overcrowding at the home, the petitioner in his plea said the court should take steps to stop such incidents, including its inmates going missing and not been traced till date.