The Delhi High Court on Tuesday directed the amicus curiae appointed by it, Ms. Rebecca John, to visit the child care center located at Bakhtawarpur and various other places across the national capital to suggest steps that are required to be taken to prevent kidnapping and running away of children from these centres.
A Bench of Justice Subromunium Prasad also observed that ''My primary concern is to know whether children are running away from the centers due to appalling conditions or whether they are being lured into prostitution''
Ms. Richa Kumar appeared for the Delhi government and Mr. R.H.A Sikander appeared for the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights.
During the course of the hearing, Rebecca John submitted that most of the children come from a poor background and are lured into prostitution.
Justice Subramonium Prasad observed that my concern is to know "whether appalling conditions force children to run away from these centers or they are being lured into prostitution"
R.H.A Sikander placed on record that in 2020, 22 children ran away and in 2021, 41 children ran away from these centres and none of them was kidnapped.
The Court will hear the matter next on 11th February.
By its previous order, the Court had directed the Ministry of Women and Child Development to file an affidavit regarding the steps taken by the state to ensure that children from these homes are not kidnapped. The Court had also appointed Rebecca Mammen John as amicus to assist the Court.
The Court was hearing a plea seeking a magisterial inquiry into the escape of 5 girls in March 2021 from children's homes at Bakhtawarpur and other similar incidents reported across the city.