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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

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M A I N   N E W S

Tribune Impact
Homes for Kids
HC orders surprise checks
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
Taking suo motu cognisance of news reports — Homes without Care —published in The Tribune, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has asked judicial officers to conduct surprise checks on observation homes run by the Punjab government.

Justice SD Anand also directed the judicial officers to submit reports on the running of the institutes, with emphasis on the quality of food served to the inmates, medical facilities and general hygiene on the premises.

The officers have been also told to furnish a report on the lodging status of inmates, education and recreation facilities being provided to them and presence of adequate staff.

Referring to the news reports, Justice Anand said they indicate that those responsible for running the institutes are not properly spending the funds provided by the government.

“There is, thus, apparent misuse of hard-earned money of tax-payers. Where exactly those funds land is an unfathomed aspect. The imagined culmination of thought is, though, unenviable. Needless to reiterate, the Constitution of India guarantees its citizens the right to life and liberty. The former would, obviously, include at least the basic amenities required for human existence.

In view of the required urgency of action, this court would like to have a report on the state of affairs in these institutions,” he further said.

“The sessions judges, and in their absence the available senior most additional sessions judges of the area, where children homes are run by the department of women and child welfare; and the observation homes run by the department of social security, shall conduct a surprise visit and report on the running of the institutions,” he observed, adding that ‘the judges shall be entitled to have the assistance of the duty magistrate or a judicial officer of their own choice.”

Meanwhile, Harjit Singh, secretary, department of social security women and child welfare, said he visited the observation home at Ludhiana following the publishing of the news report and found it in a bad shape.. “The building in Ludhiana needs an urgent repair. The living conditions are pitiable. I have taken the officials concerned to task and asked them to report the progress to me,” he said.

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