Asha Kiran Home deaths: HC asks Delhi to file report

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New Delhi, Feb 17 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Friday asked the state government to file a report on the deplorable conditions at the Asha Kiran Home for the mentally challenged, where 11 inmates have died over the past two months.

A division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal sought a status report from the state government and listed the matter for April 19 for further hearing.

The court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking action against the erring officials.

The plea filed by Salek Chand Jain sought filing of an FIR on the basis of the post-mortem examination reports of the bodies and a direction to the Delhi government to disclose the reasons for the death of 11 inmates there.

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The plea also sought direction to the government to probe the reasons for alleged “disappearance of around 250 inmates between 2001-2016”.

Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) Chairperson Swati Maliwal had on February 4 night paid a surprise visit to the Asha Kiran Home and found the condition there deplorable that had led to the death of 11 inmates over the last two months.

Maliwal had noted over-crowding with up to four patients on a single bed, women inmates made to remove clothes in the open while queueing up for bath and walking naked in the corridors, while the CCTV cameras were being monitored by male staff.

She had also found stinking rooms, filthy toilets and excreta and urine in the corridors.

The DCW had also summoned the Aam Aadmi Party government’s Social Welfare Department Secretary to appear before it on February 11 in connection with the lapses at the Asha Kiran Home.

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