Look into sexual assault allegations,orphanage ordered

Allegations of sexual abuse and harassment of children at an orphanage in Daryaganj had surfaced earlier.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: February 16, 2012 3:39:58 am

Following allegations of sexual abuse and harassment of children at an orphanage in Daryaganj,the Delhi High Court on Wednesday took suo motu cognisance of the issue and expressed concern over such institutions in the Capital.

Seeking responses from the Centre,Delhi government as well as management of the institution,the court asked the president of Arya Orphanage to look “seriously” into the allegations and take corrective measures,if anything was found wrong. “Media reports may be wrong or incorrect,but the possibility of such incidents cannot be rejected outright. So,look at everything seriously and take corrective measures if the alleged incidents have happened. Take action against those found guilty. And don’t take this petition as an adversarial litigation,because we are looking at the larger issue of the management of orphanages across the city,” said a division bench of Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw.

The bench also asked the Delhi government-appointed administrator to submit a report into the case after conducting an investigation. Issuing notices to all the parties concerned,the court asked them to file reports within a week.

Senior advocate V P Choudhary,who appeared on behalf of the orphanage president,said “false media reports” — published without valid proof — had tarnished the image of the institution. No such complaint has been filed in the 90 years of the orphanage’s existence,he added.

Though the court accepted the orphanage’s contention that it had been providing valuable service to children over the years,it asked the management to conduct an in-house inquiry.

The report had alleged that older residents and staff members had subjected many kids to physical abuse and sexual assault.

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