Delhi High Court to hear the petition on Asha Kiran deaths: seeks explanation from Delhi Government

Public Interest Litigation (PIL) also sought an investigation into the reasons for the alleged disappearance of around 250 inmates between 2001 and 2016

Asha Kiran
'Asha Kiran'- A government run facility for women with mental disabilities, Credits- Equilibrio Informativo

New Delhi, Feb 16, 2017: A new development has been made in the recent case of ‘Asha Kiran’- a government-run shelter home for women with mental disabilities, where a team of Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) found unreported deaths of 11 inmates in past two months and several discrepancies in a surprise inspection.

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The Delhi High Court on Friday will hear a petition seeking a response from the Delhi government on the cause of death of 11 inmates in Asha Kiran. The petitioner, social activist Salek Chand Jain, also urged the court to order registration of FIRs against the erring officials on the basis of the post-mortem reports.

Further, the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) sought an investigation into the reasons for the alleged disappearance of around 250 inmates between 2001 and 2016. The matter was listed for consideration on February 17.

Whereas DNA reported that the post-mortem reports of five inmates hinted at death due to starvation, DCW chief Swati Malliwal sent a notice to the secretary of Social Welfare Department and commissioned a separate committee to probe into this matter.

When our correspondent got in touch with Malliwal to get information about the notice that was sent to the Secretary of the Social Welfare Department, her Media Advisor informed that in reply to the notice, a report has been received from Social Welfare Department which is being assessed by the DCW.

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Advocate Sugriva Dubey said that many children are admitted every year in Asha Kiran but there are no records of those who go missing. “Even if they have gone missing, were they ever traced? Where is the record?” he questioned.

“Whatever is happening inside the home is highly objectionable and incorrect. Even the RTI replies given by the authorities are not satisfactory. They don’t divulge any details and the information provided is not up to the mark,” Dubey said to DNA

In his plea, Jain cited few parts of the investigation report of Delhi Commission for Women (DCW). He said the DCW team conducted surprise inspection at Asha Kiran and found that inmates were walking around the corridors in the naked state.

The social activist further mentioned the overcrowding at the home and said the court should take steps to put an end to such incidents. He also stated many missing children and inmates have not been traced till date.

The home, which has a capacity for 500 inmates but houses over 900 people.

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The deplorable living condition at the Asha Kiran came under scanner after an investigation by DCW where its team headed by DCW chief, Swati Malliwal, carried out a surprise inspection at the premises and shared the horrific details, including inmates walking around naked inside the home.

-prepared by Ashish Srivastava of NewsGram Twitter @PhulRetard