The Supreme Court on Monday fumed over the death of a four-month-old infant at Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh during the anti-CAA agitation, saying “children shouldn’t be treated badly in society”. The baby had passed away in his sleep on the night of January 30 after returning from Shaheen Bagh where the parents had taken him to sit for the protest. The court issued notices to the Centre and the Delhi government over the death and also rapped protesters who presented their case in the hearing.
“Can a four-month-old go to protest?” the court asked as the lawyers for protesting mothers appeared in court.
A bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde took note of the incident after Zen Gunratan Sadavarte, a 12-year-old National Bravery Award Winner, wrote to the CJI over the baby's death. In her letter, Sadavarte sought a probe into the infant's death for what she described as a "failure" to protect the rights of the kid at Shaheen Bagh resulting in his death. "A baby has died. We are taking suo motu cognisance of this letter," CJI Bobde said.
Sadavarte, a Class 7 student 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 a violation of their rights.
"The Shaheen Bagh protesters at New Delhi, include women, senior citizens, newborns and children, ignoring the fact that newborn 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.
The letter also alleged that the Delhi 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.
(With inputs from agencies)