Delhi HC takes cognisance of minor’s sexual assault by school cleaner

Girl was allegedly sexually assaulted at a school in south Delhi's Panchsheel Enclave area, the police had said on August 3.

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has taken suo motu cognisance of an incident of alleged sexual assault of a 3-year-old girl by a cleaner at her school and sought to know the action taken by the city government and the police.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma said a news report on the incident was brought to its notice by a high court judge, and directed that a public interest litigation be initiated on that basis.

Issuing notice on the PIL, the bench, also comprising Justice Saurabh Banerjee, directed the authorities to file a status report while ensuring that the identity of the girl child is protected.

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“Let a Suo motu (on its own) PIL be registered based on the newspaper report. Let a status report be filed positively within two weeks from today in respect of action taken in the matter by the Delhi Police as well as by the Education Department, GNCTD,” said the court in an order dated August 8.

“Mr. (Santosh Kumar) Tripathi (Delhi government counsel), while filing the status report, will mask the name of the girl child as well as the names of the parents of the girl child, and shall undertake all necessary measures to protect the identity and right to privacy of the girl child,” the court said.

The court asked the Delhi government counsel to ensure that there is compliance with the law protecting the identity of minor victims of sexual offences.

The girl was allegedly sexually assaulted at a school in south Delhi’s Panchsheel Enclave area, the police had said on August 3.

On August 1, at 11.46 am, a PCR call was received at Hauz Khas police station regarding child abuse at a school near Chirag Delhi flyover in Panchsheel Enclave, a senior police officer had said.

Delhi police visited the school and met the minor and her aunt. The victim alleged that she was sexually abused by a cleaner — Arjun Kumar (33).

She had told her mother that Arjun used to ogle her when she went to the washroom.

A case under sections 376 (rape) and 377 (unnatural offences) of the Indian Penal Code and section 6 of the POCSO Act was registered against the accused.

The accused, a resident of Old Gautam Budh Nagar in UP, was arrested and sent to judicial custody, the police had said.

The matter will be heard next on September 1.

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