Supreme Court Takes Cognisance Of Infant’s Death During Shaheen Bagh Protest
The Supreme Court Friday took cognisance on its own to "stop involvement of children and infants in demonstrations" following the death of an infant on Jan. 30 at Shaheen Bagh here.
The apex court website showed that the issue would be taken up for hearing on Feb. 10 by a bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde. The matter assumes importance as a letter was recently written by a 12-year-old National Bravery Award winner to the Chief Justice of India seeking directions to prevent children from participating in demonstrations as it "amounts to cruelty".
A 4-month-old baby had passed away in his sleep on the night of Jan. 30 after returning from Shaheen Bagh where his parents had taken him during the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protest.
Zen Gunratan Sadavarte, a recipient of the 2019 Indian Council for Child Welfare National Bravery Award, said in the letter to the CJI's office that the parents of the baby and the organisers of the anti-CAA protests at Shaheen Bagh had "failed" to protect the rights of the kid, resulting in his death.
Sadavarte, a student of Class 7 from Mumbai, has also alleged that the protesters at Shaheen Bagh include infants and children, who are exposed to conditions unfavourable to them, which is violation of their rights.
"The Shaheen Bagh protesters at New Delhi, include women, senior citizens, newborns and children, ignoring the fact that new born babies need a lot of attention and care as they cannot express their pains in particulars thereafter also ignoring the conditions unfavourable to the children, they are brought to the protest place which is violative of their child rights and natural justice," the letter said.
It also alleged that the police failed in stopping children from participating in such agitations harmful to their health. It expressed surprise over the fact that even the death certificate of the 4-month-old does not mention the cause of death. Sadavarte received the National Bravery Award for guiding 17 people to safety when a fire broke out at Parel's Crystal Tower.