The AAP government today told the Delhi High Court that only 101 inmates went missing from a home for mentally ill persons and not 250 as alleged in a PIL. The submission was made before a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Malhotra, who has sought to know the reasons behind the death of 11 patients at the home, besides alleged disappearance of about 250 inmates from 2001 to 2016. The Delhi government informed that none of the patients died due to poor transport facilities and out 11, seven died at the hospital during treatment. It further told the court that case of missing inmates have been referred to the police for investigation. "In consonance with the same (missing) appropriate security measures have been initiated and existing measures have been strengthened," the Delhi government said. Delhi government's additional standing counsel Peeyoosh Kalra further told the court through an affidavit that the cause of death of the residents of Asha Kiran Complex here can only be ascertained after the postmortem and inquest reports are received from the SDM concerned. The AAP government's response came in the backdrop of the court's direction to inform it about the reasons behind the death of 11 patients at a home for mentally retarded in a span of two months. The court had issued the direction on a plea seeking a direction to theAAP government to disclose the reasons for the death. The public interest litigation (PIL) also urged the court to order registration of FIRs against the erring officials on the basisof the post-mortem reports of the bodies. The matter came to light after a surprise inspection by the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) which found the inhabitants living in extremely inhumane and unhygienic conditions. The DCW had also said it had found that 11 patients had died in the facility in the last two months. The PIL sought a direction to Delhi government's Social Welfare Department, which runs the home for persons with mental disabilities. It also soughtan investigation into the reasons for the alleged disappearance of around 250 inmates between 2001-2016, petitioner Salek Chand Jain, who claims to be a social worker, said in his plea that the DCW, during its surprise visit at the Asha Kiran, had even found women inmates walking about naked in the corridors. The inspection was conducted by DCW chairperson Swati Maliwal on February 4 night. DCW has issued a notice to the social welfare department secretary and set up a separate inquiry committee to look into the complaints against the home. Highlighting severely unsanitary conditions and overcrowding at the home, the petitioner in his plea said the court should take steps to stop such incidents, including its inmates going missing and not being traced till date.
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