ARTICLE IN MUMBAI MIRROR Vs. THE STATE OF MAHARASHTRA
LAWS(BOM)-2017-4-54
HIGH COURT OF BOMBAY
Decided on April 07,2017

ARTICLE IN MUMBAI MIRROR Appellant
VERSUS
THE STATE OF MAHARASHTRA Respondents

JUDGEMENT

A.S.OKA,J. - (1.) This Suo Motu Public Interest Litigation was initiated on the basis of a report in Daily Mumbai Mirror on 24 th August 2010 about the inhuman condition of the Children's Home by the name Satkarm Balgriha at Shahpur, District - Thane. All the children living in the said Children's Home are mentally challenged. It was reported that recently five children died due to starvation and malnutrition. By an order dated 3rd September 2010, the First Court while initiating a Suo Motu PIL on the basis of the said report, appointed Dr.Asha Bajpai, the then Chairperson of the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies and Human Rights, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) to assist the Court as Amicus Curiae. The Government Pleader was also ordered to assist the Court. Broadly speaking, the issue concerns the Children's Homes in the State established under Section 34 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act,2000 ( for short "the said Act of 2000) and in particular the Homes for Mentally Deficient Children ( for short "MDC Homes"). There are various orders passed from time to time in this PIL by the First Court and other Benches.
(2.) The order dated 11th March 2011 notes a factually important aspect that there are 27 such MDC Homes in the State. As on that date, the sanctioned capacity of these Homes was 1685 and as on that date, there were 1094 inmates. It is recorded in the said order that all 27 MDC Homes are being run by NGOs and that by way of grant, the Government gives Rs.1,140/- per month per mentally challenged child, out of which Rs.825/- per month is to be used per child whereas remaining amount of Rs.315/- per month is to be used for the administrative expenses. It is recorded that out of 27 Homes, 6 are exclusively for girls, 14 are exclusively for boys and 7 are for the Children of both the sexes. It is noted in one of the earlier orders that for the other category of children in Children's Homes, grant of Rs.950/- per child per month is being paid by the Government.
(3.) The issues involved in this Petition will have to be considered in light of the said Act of 2000, the Rules framed thereunder. The said Act of 2005 was repealed by the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 ( for short "the said Act of 2015"). The said Act of 2015 came into force with effect from 15 th January 2015. We are also dealing with the provisions of the said Act of 2015.;


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