The Allahabad High Court has expressed serious displeasure at the death of four infant girls at the Government Children Protection Home at Prag Narayan Road in Lucknow.
The Lucknow bench of the high court directed the principal secretary of the women and child development department to file a counter affidavit in the matter within three weeks. The infant girls, aged between 1.5 months to 5 months, died between February 10-14 allegedly due to cold.
Passing the order, a bench of Justice D K Upadhyay and Justice Subhash Vidyarthi said, "The respondents shall clearly indicate the steps which are envisaged to be taken at their end to ensure that such incidents do not happen in future in child protection homes throughout the state."
The bench passed the order on a PIL moved by Shiv Nath Mishra based on a newspaper report on the death of the infant girls in the government home. "The facts pleaded in this petition are very serious and, prima facie, depict unpardonable callousness on the part of the state authorities as they appear to have utterly failed in discharge of their duty, which has resulted in death of four young girl children," observed the bench.
The superintendent of the children's home was suspended after the death of four infants, officials had said on Thursday. A magisterial inquiry has been ordered into the deaths and Kinshuk Tripathi, the superintendent of the home, issued a show-cause notice, District Probation Officer Vikash Singh said.
Uttar Pradesh Women and Child Development Minister Baby Rani Maurya disputed the allegations over the deaths as "totally false". Maurya, in a statement, said that the infants were underweight and suffering from fever as well as thalassemia and were undergoing treatment at different hospitals.