Hyderabad: Expressing deep concern at the pathetic and deplorable conditions prevailing in ‘Government Observation Homes’ in the state, particularly in Karimnagar, the division bench of the Telangana High Court comprising Chief Justice Raghavendra Singh Chauhan and Justice A. Abhishek Reddy on Wednesday issued notice to the Chief Secretary and the officers of social welfare department, directing them to respond to the contents of a report submitted by the Principal District Judge, Karimnagar.
The Chief Justice directed the state counsel to instruct the concerned officials to file a complete report on the functioning of Observation Homes in Karimnagar district. He said that when the Member Secretary, Telangana State Legal Services Authority was told to inspect such observation homes earlier, the report submitted by the Member Secretary had also revealed startling facts.
Justice P. Naveen Rao of the High Court of Telangana had found grave irregularities and lapses in the functioning of the homes when he went on a surprise visit to the Observation Home for Boys, Velichala, and Swadhaar Home, Karimnagar. Conditions in these homes were unhygienic and food served to the inmates was poor in nutrition. There is no proper mechanism to supervise the Homes which is why the living conditions of the children is deplorable, he said in a report or what?.
One of the gravest irregularities found by the judge was that boys accused of serious offences lived together with other children. This is hardly conducive to the reformation of those convicted and will have a negative effect on the others. Since the whole point of having such homes is the reformation of boys into good citizens, this is hardly likely to occur, Justice P. Naveen Rao had held.
On being directed by the High Court, the Principal Judge of Karimnagar district forwarded a report on February 4 on the conditions of the observation home, after inspection. The court took up the report as a suo motu PIL.
The division bench further issued notices to the Principal Secretary, Home (Prisons) and Women and Child Welfare departments, DG Prisons wing, Superintendent of Police, Karimnagar, District Collector, Karimnagar and the Superintendent of the Observation Home for Boys, at Velichala, Karimnagar, and directed them to respond to the notices by April 15.