Welfare officer appointed as Guardian ad litem of a minor girl raped by her brother

Delhi High Court: While deciding over a plea filed under Article 226, the Court ordered that custody of a 16-year-old girl, who was allegedly raped by her brother, be given to her father and has appointed a welfare officer as Guardian ad litem (GAL) to look after her. When the bench asked the girl, who was present in the court along with her counsel, whether she wanted to join her parents or not, she expressed her desire to join them.

A division bench comprising of G S Sistani and Sangita Dhingra Sehgal JJ. was hearing a plea filed by the petitioner seeking a direction to Delhi government to release her daughter from Paripurna Jeevan Shelter Home and produce her before the court and grant him her custody being the natural guardian. In the petition, he alleged that his daughter was in wrongful confinement and custody of Paripurna Jeevan Shelter Home as per an order passed by the Child Welfare Committee constituted by the National Capital Territory of Delhi. The girl in her complaint has alleged that her own brother has allegedly raped her and after being produced before the Child Welfare Committee in March, she was directed to be housed at Paripoorna Jeevan Homes for Girls and subsequently her brother was arrested.

The bench took into regard the guidelines for recording of evidence of vulnerable witnesses in criminal matters, appointed welfare officer Somy Harshan as the GAL. It directed Guardian ad litem to approach the Delhi High Court Legal Aid Society for legal assistance for the minor girl. To assess the wellbeing of the girl at her house, the bench directed the woman assistant sub-inspector of Chanakyapuri police station to visit her house once in 15 days for a period of two months and report to the SHO in case it is found that the minor is being harassed. [Arsheeran Bahmeech v. State (Government of NCT of Delhi), 2015 SCC OnLine Del 12673, decided on 7-10-2015]

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