Child Welfare Panel told to tend to convict kids

NEW DELHI: With their father spending the rest of his life in jail for murdering their mother, the future of seven children is now in jeopardy, with no one to take care of them. 

As a trial court convicted 40-year-old Amruddin for the murder of his wife Rihana and sentenced him to life imprisonment, it came across an unusual plea moved by the mother of the deceased saying she could not take care of the convict's children as she had no means. The woman moved court seeking support from some NGO or an authority to ensure the children led a normal life. 

Shocked at the state of affairs, the court has now directed the child welfare committee (CWC) of the Delhi government to make appropriate arrangements for the well-being of the children. "It is unfortunate to see that children are the real victims in the case. As minors they are themselves in a vulnerable position with fear looming large over them. They have lost their mother and their father can no longer look after them," Dharmesh Sharma, additional sessions judge, said. 

Directing the CWC to send the minors to "a certified government aided hostel, institution or an NGO", which can provide them shelter, the court has also directed they be allowed to meet each other twice each month, as they were siblings. The judge also asked the police to file a report in the matter within seven days. 

Two of the seven children played an important role in getting their father convicted. Fourteen-year-old Arif and 12-year-old Raeesuddin were the two key witnesses for the prosecution. The court relied heavily among others on the statement of the two children to convict their father. 

The prosecution had stated that on December 22, 2009, Amruddin in an inebriated state beat his wife to death. He also used to ill-treat his eldest daughter and had "ill-intentions" for her. A case was registered against him in Kotwali police station following which he was arrested. His children deposed before the court he often used to beat-up his wife and on the night of the incident, he thrashed her to death. 

While slapping a fine of Rs 10,000 on the convict, the court said the government should come up with a plan for rehabilitation of children of such convicts. "In my mind, the state mechanism must come to the rescue so that they are not only provided shelter but also a place where they can get education, care, protection and guidance in their life," the court said.