The Supreme Court has taken suo moto cognizance of the involvement of children and infants in demonstrations and agitations in view of the death of an infant on January 30 at Shaheen Bagh protests.

The Supreme Court has taken suo moto cognizance of the involvement of children and infants in demonstrations and agitations in view of the death of an infant on January 30 at Shaheen Bagh protests.

This is following a letter written by a student to the CJI, urging Court’s intervention on the issue.

The matter is listed before the bench headed by CJI SA Bobde on February 10.

Earlier this week, a 12 year old girl, Zen Gunratan Sadavarte, who won the ICCW National Bravery Award 2019, had written to Chief Justice of India SA Bobde following the death of 4 month old Mohammed Jahaan, who was accompanying his parents at the anti CAA agitations at Shaheen Bagh in Delhi. In her complaint, the seventh-grader has urged the court to frame guidelines to disallow children and infants from participating in protests and agitations, while directing police and appropriate authorities to investigate the death.

Bringing children to such demonstrations is torturous and cruel, especially for new borns who cannot express their pains, and continuing to do so by ignoring the unfavourable weather conditions which further harms the child’s health is a violation of child rights and natural justice, read the letter.

Citing an India Today report, the complaint narrated how the 4 month old infant was accompanying his mother to the protests everyday, returned home at 1 am on January 30 and succumbed to severe cold and congestion, according to his mother, in his sleep the coming morning. The cold and congestion occurred “due to exposure to the winter chills at the outdoor demonstration where she used to take him”. The parents and the organizer of the protest failed to protect the child’s rights due to which Mohammed Jahaan lost his life, alleges the complaint.

It has also been informed that the above report claimed that the child was declared dead on arrival at Alshifa Hospital. In such a case, the course of law must be followed according to the Code of Criminal Procedure but the death certificate fails to note any particular reason for the death. “It was mandatory (to) undergo thorough Medical Investigation including the post mortem with medico legal case”, continues the complaint as it seeks for the court to call for the related records and proceedings of the same.

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