Taking note of serious allegations of brutal torture,harassment and thrashing of poor children in Observation Home,Sector 25,the Punjab and Haryana High court on Thursday issued notices to the Inspector General of Police,Chandigarh,and the UT Administration.
The notices have been issued by a division bench comprising acting Chief Justice M M Kumar and Justice Alok Singh on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by advocate Utsav Singh Bains,a resident of Sector 2,Chandigarh.
The petitioner has sought directions for detailed guidelines to be issued to the police on how to deal with poor children.
The petitioner has also sought guidelines to be issued to the Juvenile Justice Boards to record statements of children,when presented before them regarding police abuse and order registration of an FIR in case the child states police abuse.
Also,the PIL has demanded setting up of a Special Investigation Team to investigate the abuse of children by the police and review cases of children lodged in the Chandigarh Observation Home by any independent agency.
The agency,the petitioner has said,should submit a periodical report regarding police abuse and other grievances to the court for appropriate action. Directions to the Inspector General of Police have also been sought to initiate criminal and disciplinary proceedings against the police officers for the brutal torture and abuse of children in police custody.
It is for the first time that the court has taken cognisance of audio recording to set the law in motion. In April-May,2011,the petitioner interviewed children inside the Observation Home. The petitioner was then in the final year at law school. The interviewed children disclosed to the petitioner that they had been illegally detained,stripped naked and tortured with electric shocks by police officers inside police stations in Chandigarh.
Bains has annexed statements of the victims and their audio recordings with the petition. One of the children told the petitioner that he had committed a theft in Sector 38 last year. After the arrest,he was thrashed by policemen. Another child,an inmate,told the petitioner that he was given electric shocks by the Chandigarh Police officers.
The High Court has given the IG and Chandigarh Administration six weeks to file their replies. The case will now come up for resumed hearing on August 16.