When former Chief Justice of India HL Dattu took charge as the new National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) chairperson earlier this year, he decided to use the rather disturbing knowledge he gathered during his tenure as a judge to shape his work here.
In an interview with The Times of India, Justice Dattu described some extremely disturbing incidents that he became aware of during the tenure of his former job. One of them was how a government-funded home for disabled children made about 50 children share one toothbrush.
"That is the condition in most government-aided or government-run homes housing disabled children, who are the most neglected of the lot," Justice Dattu told TOI, refusing to name the state where he came across the neglected 'shelter'.
After his retirement as the CJI in December and before his appointment as NHRC chairperson in February, Justice Dattu spent time in old-age homes near Bengaluru almost every day.
"There is no dearth of government grant for upkeep of facilities at the homes for disabled and senior citizens. We need to stop the pilferage of money, and [instead] use it to improve the basic facilities for them," he said.
Justice Dattu has always been a champion of human rights and children's welfare.
In 2014, as the CJI, he had set up a two-judge 'Social Justice Bench' which met every Friday afternoon and handled the petitions on issues linked to malnutrition among children, women's safety, night shelters for the homeless and welfare schemes for poor families.