SC action: Children in TN shelter home treated, cured of COVID

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Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Tripura yet to file reports on query sent by SC on safety at children’s homes. They get a Friday deadline.

A news item in the media has pointed out some alarming cases of children in shelter homes in different states being infected with the COVID-19 virus. The Supreme Court, having taken suo motu cognizance of the report, today (July 7) directed the State of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand to file their affidavits on the safety and security of the children.

The three-judge bench, comprising Justices LN Rao, Hemant Gupta and S Ravindra Bhat, brought this news item to the notice of government representatives. Justice Rao noted that Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Tripura are yet to file their replies. He said: “By Friday you have to file the report regarding COVID19 cases among children in conflict with law.”

Referring to Tamil Nadu, its counsel, AAG Balaji Srinivasan, informed the court that all the infected children had been cured and were back in the shelter homes. He also informed that there were no new cases as of now. 

The bench appointed Advocate Gaurav Aggarwal as the Amicus Curiae. The matter has been listed for Monday (July 13).

The case dates back to June 11, when the court had taken suo motu  cognizance of news reports which said that 35 children in a shelter home in Roypuram, Chennai had tested positive for COVID 19.

That bench, comprising Justices L. Nageswara Rao, Krishna Murari and S. Ravindra Bhat, had directed the State of Tamil Nadu to file a status report.

The bench had registered a writ petition, titled ‘Re: Contagion of Covid-19 Virus in Child Protection Homes’ and had questioned the State. The bench had asked a stiff question: “Thirty five children have been detected with COVID 19 in the shelter home in Tamil Nadu. We want to know what steps have been taken in this regard by the State of Tamil Nadu. We’ve been told it’s because of the warden was COVID positive.”

The Bench had added: “We are circulating a format (questionnaire) which is to be communicated to the state government. The Juvenile Justice Committees of the HC’s will also be supplied with this (questionnaire). The Juvenile Justice Committees are to ensure that the state governments provide the information that is sought for.”

– India Legal Bureau

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