HC directs Maharashtra govt to probe abuse of six boys in Pune shelter

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Wednesday directed the Maharashtra government to conduct an inquiry into the allegations of six destitute boys, who were physically abused by an employee at the Yerwada mental facility in Pune.

A division bench of Justices RD Dhanuka and GS Patel was hearing a public interest litigation filed by NGO Disability Rights Initiative regarding the condition of the six boys.

According to the PIL, the boys, who themselves suffer from intellectual disabilities, were kept at the Yerwada facility near Pune which houses adult persons suffering from mental disorders. The children bore visible signs of fresh wounds and complained of alleged physical abuse by a person identified as Mane.

The bench, while observing that the allegations were serious, directed the state government to conduct an inquiry and submit a report by November 27.

The court also sought to know from the government as to what action it will take against the employee Mane and other errant officials.

The court was today informed that as per an earlier order of the High Court, the six boys have been shifted to the Sasoon hospital in Pune.

Another bench of the High Court had on October 29 taken a serious view of the case and had also raised the issue of lack of shelter homes for children with special needs in Pune district. The court had directed the government and Commissioner For Persons With Disabilities to explain what steps are being taken to address the situation.

Last year, all four existing homes for special children — Shriram Development and Rehabilitation Centre in Daund, Anand Mahila Balkalyan Sanstha in Shirur, Jijamata Shikshan Prasarak Mandal and Sankalp Trust in Donje — were closed down by the government for serious violations of rules.