Three days after it issued a notice to the secretary of the Delhi social welfare department, Dilraj Kaur, over the “shocking” conditions at the Asha Kiran home for mentally challenged persons, the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) on Wednesday issued summons to her. In its summons, the commission took “strong note of the fact that despite the passage of stipulated time, information sought has not been provided”. The unexplained and unnecessary delay caused in the matter, the DCW said, is likely to prejudice the case.
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Issuing a notice to the secretary on February 5, the commission had sought a reply on various points concerning the conditions at Asha Kiran in Rohini.
Asking the secretary, social welfare, to reply within 72 hours, the DCW chairperson Swati Maliwal had said: “The matter is extremely serious and concerns the life and liberty of the residents”. The commission asked if the secretary was aware of the conditions in Asha Kiran and what measures the department had taken to rectify them.
In a surprise visit on February 4, the DCW had pointed out a number of lapses in the Delhi government-run home for mentally challenged persons.
“Shockingly, completely nude women were roaming around in the corridors. Moreover, the corridors of the dormitory had CCTV cameras installed which are being monitored by male staff,” the DCW stated.
The commission observed that the home was severely short-staffed, with just one attendant in a dormitory housing 153 inmates.
Summoning the secretary, the commission wrote, “…considering the extreme gravity and critical nature of the issues, which concern the life and liberty of the residents of Asha Kiran home, you are hereby summoned to appear before the Commission for the purpose aforementioned on February 11, 2017 at 11 am.”