States Round Up Issue-01 July to September 2010 Index Page
Full version of the report

Delhi



I. Highlight: Diversion of Dalit funds for CWG

While alleged corruption of Rs 135,000 crores in the run up to  the Commonwealth Games hogged the limelight, the Dalits had their own share to pay. On 15 July 2010, an NGO, Housing and Land Rights Network and National Campaign for Dalit Human Rights, citing information received through the RTI Act, alleged that funds worth Rs 744 crores meant for Special Component Plan, aimed for the welfare of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and minorities, were diverted for the Commonwealth Games projects from 2006 to 2010. [1]  On 26 August 2010, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram admitted in Rajya Sabha that over Rs 678 crore from the Schedule Caste Sub Plan (SCSP), meant for Scheduled Caste welfare projects, were indeed diverted by the Delhi government for the Commonwealth Games projects. [2] On 31 August 2010, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram assured the Rajya Sabha that efforts would be made to bring back the diverted money to the welfare fund. [3] It remains to be seen whether promises are kept.

II. Violations of civil and political rights

The ACHR documented a number of cases of violations of the civil and political rights during July to September 2010.

On 16 August 2010, one Shamim, who was arrested in a criminal case on 3 August 2010 by Delhi Police’s special cell, filed a complaint before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) alleging torture by Inspector Lalit Mohan, Sub-Inspector Kailash Chander, Assistant Sub-Inspector Samer Pal and other police personnel in their custody. At the order of the CMM, medical examination was conducted and the medical report found that the victim was assaulted with “hard, blunt and cylindrical objects”. The police inquiry however gave clean chit to the accused police officials. On 2 September 2010, the CMM referred the complaint to an Additional CMM for recording statement of witnesses against the accused police officials. The CMM relied on the medical report which noted injuries on the body of Shamim. [4]

On 8 September 2010, an undertrial appeared before Additional Sessions Judge Girish Kathpalia with a bandaged hand and injuries in other parts of the body. The prisoner alleged that he had been assaulted by an Assistant Superintendent in Tihar Jail on 28 August 2010 as he could not pay “illegal demands for money”. The Tihar Jail authorities claimed that the injuries of the undertrial were “self-inflicted”. But Additional Sessions Judge Girish Kathpalia stated that “The version of jail superintendent does not appear to be truthful prima facie. The injuries described in medical examination report cannot be self-inflicted in view of the location of the same. A person inflicting injuries to himself would generally cause the same on front side and generally on the left side. As such, it appears that version of the undertrial prisoner could be correct that he was assaulted in jail”. The medical report noted that the injuries on the body of the undertrial were caused on back portion and right side. The Court therefore directed Deputy Commissioner of Police (West) to conduct an inquiry by an officer not below the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police into the torture of the undertrial. [5]

On 9 September 2010, CMM Kaveri Baweja ordered the Station House Officer of Gulabi Bagh police station in North Delhi to register an First Information Report against the police officers who tortured to death one Vinod Sharma (35 years), a resident of Kathua district in Jammu and Kashmir at the Gulabi Bagh police station on 5 April 2010. The CMM passed this order on the basis of an inquiry report submitted by Metropolitan Magistrate Twinkle Wadhwa who found that Vinod Sharma died due to injuries sustained in the assault at Gulabi Bagh police station. A three-member medical board concluded that he died of “cerebral damage caused following various injuries on head and consequent shock which was sufficient to cause death in ordinary course and some injuries were caused by a blunt object.” [6]

Earlier, in a significant judgement, on 15 July 2010, Additional Sessions Judge Dharmesh Sharma sentenced then Delhi Police constables Ashok Kumar, Sudesh Kumar Rana and Surajpal to life imprisonment for killing two men in a fake encounter in 2006. The accused were posted at Operation Cell of Delhi Police, abducted and killed Nazakat (26 years) and Zulfikar (28 years) on 31 July 2006. [7]

III. Violations of women’s rights

The number of crimes against women increased in 2010 compared to the last year. According to the record of the Delhi Police, 212 cases of rape have been registered in Delhi from 1 January 2010 to 25 May 2010 compared to 210 rape cases during the same period in 2009. Molestation cases too increased from 130 cases during 1 January – 25 May 2009 to 135 cases in the same period in 2010. In 2009, a total of 452 rape cases and 540 molestation cases were reported. The police claimed that nearly 85% of these cases were solved. [8] A total of 2,359 rape cases have been registered by Delhi Police between 1999 and June 2010. [9]

The police personnel were involved in torturing women. On the night of 28 July 2010, a 25-year-old woman was allegedly beaten, molested and her clothes torn off while her mother was kicked in the stomach by drunken traffic cops and police constables attached to the Bhalswa Dairy police station in Delhi. The woman along with her parents had gone to inquire about her elder brother who was earlier in the day detained by the police for alleged violation of traffic rule. The woman’s brother was detained by traffic policemen near his house in the Bhalswa Dairy area. The traffic policemen were allegedly drunk and they thrashed him badly after a minor argument and handed over to the Bhalswa Dairy police station. The victims also alleged that the police threatened to frame them in false cases unless they kept quiet. [10]

IV. Violations of the rights of the child

There were consistent reports of violations of the rights of the child.

The Delhi Police failed to take appropriate action against its officials for harassing child victims of sexual abuse. On 17 September 2010, a woman filed a complaint alleging that her 12-year-old girl and her two minor brothers were allegedly raped and sodomized for nearly a year by the driver of their school cab in Prasad Nagar area of Central Delhi. The mother further alleged the cab driver took sexually explicit video clips of her daughter and threatened her with dire consequences if she told anyone of the abuse. [11] The Delhi Police miserably failed in handling the case with sensitivity and care. Delhi Health and Family Welfare Minister Kiran Walia in a letter to Delhi Police Commissioner YS Dadwal stated, “The horrible incident has been compounded by the lack of enough alacrity and inaction on the part of the local police. It was surprising that the sensitivity required to handle such a sensitive matter had been found missing on the part of the police.” She further alleged that the police instead of giving a helping hand and psychological treatment to the victims were trying to victimise them by way of putting insensitive questions and interrogations in a horrible manner. This forced Delhi Police Commissioner YS Dadwal to transfer the case to the Special Crime Branch of Delhi Police. [12] On 26 September 2010, police personnel from Prasad Nagar police station allegedly picked up a 32-year-old man who helped expose the sexual assault against the three siblings and forced to sign a statement saying that Rajkumari, the abused siblings’ widowed mother, was characterless. [13]

Hundreds of children from “poor, disadvantaged backgrounds” were denied admission but after the intervention of the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) nearly 1,100 children were admitted to government and public schools under the Right to Education Act, 2009 as of 11 August 2010. The DCPCR informed that since the Right to Education Act came into force on 1st April 2010 it dealt with around 8,000 cases of children facing denial of admission by schools, corporal punishment, denial of fee waiver and screening process being carried out for admissions. [14]

In September 2010, the DCPCR served notices to the Organising Committee of the Commonwealth Games and various government agencies for alleged violation of the rights of the children of migrant labourers who were working at the Commonwealth Games sites. The DCPCR acted on a report by the NGO, Child Relief and You (CRY) which highlighted among others the lack of proper housing, quality food, sanitation, water, healthcare and education facilities for these children. The DCPCR asked various government authorities to examine the report and take appropriate action, including rescue, rehabilitation, and education of the affected children. [15]

Non-implementation of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000

The government of Delhi failed to properly implement the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000. There are only two Juvenile Justice Boards in Delhi which has nine districts, although the Juvenile Justice Act stipulates setting up of one Juvenile Justice Board (in short JJ Board) in each district. On 16 September 2010, the Delhi High Court directed the Delhi government to make the infrastructure needed for the JJ Boards and make the third JJ Board functional within four weeks. [16]

Further, there were reports of torture in juvenile homes.

On 23 August 2010, a juvenile complained to the Juvenile Justice Board about the torture meted out by older children at the Juvenile Home run by an NGO Prayas at Delhi Gate. The JJ Board asked the Superintendent of the Juvenile Home, Bupinder Kumar to inquire and submit a report but the complaint became a reason for further torture for the victim. In his report submitted on 25 August 2010 Bupinder Kumar denied the boy’s charge. Instead, he pointed out that the boy’s weight had increased from 30 kg to 40 kg as he was fed well. The boy alleged that after reaching the Home, the authorities handed over the JJ Board’s order to a senior boy identified as Bhaiya who then started beating him. After Bhaiya left, others in the room kept beating him till he agreed to retract his complaint before the JJ Board. The victim was injured in his hand and head due to beating and beating marks were seen on his back. The JJ Board directed the police to register a case of torture against Bupinder Kumar and asked a Delhi High Court committee to look into the functioning of the Home. [17]

On 28 August 2010, the Delhi government suspended a caretaker identified as Sushil Kumar at Asha Kiran, a government home for the mentally challenged, for beating five inmates with a wooden stick. They had to be admitted at Asha Kiran’s own hospital in Rohini. On the night of 26 August 2010, caretaker Sushil Kumar started beating the children after spotting them in the adult’s room. While two kids escaped with minor injuries, the five sustained serious injuries on their back, legs and even face. [18]

Endnotes:
1. 744 cr from welfare fund ‘diverted’ for CWG, The Tribune, 16 July 2010
2. ‘Delhi govt diverted Rs 670 cr of SC funds for CWG projects’, The Times of India, 27 August 2010
3. Chidambaram admits Delhi govt erred in diverting SC/ST funds to Games, The Times of India, 1 September 2010
4. Cops in dock for thrashing an undertrial in custody, The Times of India, 8 September 2010
5. Prison staff can’t beat up inmate irrespective of conduct: court, Deccan Herald, 9 September 2010
6. Probe ordered against cops for beating accused to death, The Pioneer, 10 September 2010
7. 3 policemen get life term for killing two in fake encounter, The Pioneer, 16 July 2010
8. Unsafe capital: 212 rape cases in first five months, The Times of India, 26 May 2010
9. Delhi: The Rape Capital of India, The Times of India, 2 July 2010
10. Cops tore my clothes, alleges 25-yr-old in Delhi, NDTV, 30 July 2010
11. School cab driver arrested for raping minors, CNN-IBN, 18 September 2010
12. Crime Branch to probe rapist cabbie case, The Pioneer, 28 September 2010
13. Police hound neighbor, The Hindustan Times, 28 September 2010
14. Kids denied school admission get a helping hand, The Hindu, 11 August 2010
15. CHILD RIGHTS’ BREACH: NOTICE TO GAMES OC, The Hindustan Times, 16 September 2010
16. HC deadline on Juvenile Justice Boards, The Hindustan Times, 17 September 2010
17. Juvenile home in dock after inmate complains of thrashing by seniors, The Hindustan Times, 1 September 2010
18. Mentally challenged kids brutally beaten, The Hindustan Times, 29 August 2010
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