New Delhi: The Delhi High Court today asked the Police Commissioner to re-examine the proposal for appointing a senior-level police official as a nodal officer to coordinate with the department related to safety and security of juvenile homes.

A bench, headed by Justice S Ravindra Bhat, asked the Police Commissioner to have a meeting with the Principal Secretary of Women and Child Development Department to decide on the appointment of the nodal officer.

The bench passed the direction while terming as “disturbing” the current proposal for safety and security of juvenile homes under which the Principal Secretary has to coordinate with a an Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) and asked both sides to “sort out” the “ego issue”.

It also asked why there is resistance to having one single nodal officer and added that it would only result in wastage of time to have a junior-level police officer in that position.

“We are looking at a ranking officer,” the bench said.
Under a proposal given on May 19, the Principal Secretary is to coordinate with a much junior officer who will require clearance from officers two-three ranks above him before he can take a decision, the bench observed.

“So, the Commissioner of Police is to re-examine the proposal made on May 19, 2014, and have a one-to-one meeting with the Principal Secretary, Women and Child Development (WCD) Department, and indicate a response in this regard,” the bench said, adding “there is needless bureaucracy and resistance here”.

“We have children missing, kids who need to be weaned away from drugs, transportation of kids who have been stranded here and not just security at probation homes. So make sure this one-to-one meeting happens,” the court told the counsel for Delhi Police.

On May 19, the WCD Department and the police had told the court that they have arrived at a consensus on setting up of a special unit to tackle emergent and other safety and security issues in observation homes housing juveniles.

They had also proposed to appoint Additional DCPs as nodal officers in each district whom a juvenile home can call up in case of trouble which requires police help.

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