‘Publicize Child Helpline Number To Address Child Begging’: Delhi HC To Government

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The petitioner, Ajay Gautam acknowledged the government’s efforts, however, noted the persistent reality of child begging in the national capital, even within 1 km of the High Court.

The Delhi High Court, on Tuesday, directed the government as well as the police to publicize the child helpline number '1098' to address the issue of child begging in the national capital. Such observations were made in a PIL filed by one Ajay Gautam, seeking directions against the government to take necessary steps to address to eliminate child beggary and related issues in and around Delhi. 

The bench of Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Tushar Rao Gedela further instructed the government to file a complaint affidavit while listing the matter for November 5.

Advocate Santosh Kumar Tripathi, representing the Government, submitted a status report and a flowchart illustrating the process of managing the child helpline number and reported cases. He stated that implementing the flowchart would ensure a timely and effective response to incidents of child begging.

The court accepted the status report and flowchart and held the Delhi Government accountable for them.

Previously, the court directed the Delhi Government to appoint a nodal agency for coordinating various government entities and administering child rehabilitation schemes.

In September of the previous year, the court requested a detailed status report from the Delhi Government on measures taken to rehabilitate children rescued from child beggary and housed in various rehabilitation centers in the national capital. It also directed the Delhi Government to include in the status report an assessment of the long-term impact of these rehabilitation centers on the children under their care.

The bench emphasized the importance of examining the impact of various rehabilitation measures given the persistence of the grave social issue of child begging.

Case Title: Ajay Gautam v DCPCR & Ors.