The Supreme Court has instructed all state governments and Union Territories to act against any entity indulging in illegal adoption of children orphaned due to Covid-19, reported PTI.
The court passed the order after a hearing on Monday, but the judgement was uploaded on Tuesday.
On Monday, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights had alerted the Supreme Court about illegal adoption of the orphaned children. The child rights body said that it has received several complaints about individuals and organisations claiming to help orphaned children and collecting information about them.
“No adoption of affected children should be permitted contrary to the provisions of the JJ [Juvenile Justice] Act, 2015,” the court said, according to Bar and Bench. “Invitation to persons for adoption of orphans is contrary to law as no adoption of a child can be permitted without the involvement of CARA [Central Adoption Resource Authority]. Stringent action shall be taken by the State Governments or Union Territories against agencies or individuals who are responsible for indulging in this illegal activity.”
The court also instructed state governments to continue identifying the children who have lost both parents or one parent after March 2020, either due to Covid-19 or otherwise and publish the data on the NCPCR website.
“The State Governments/Union Territories are directed to prevent any NGO from collecting funds in the names of the affected children by disclosing their identity and inviting interested persons to adopt them,” the bench said, according to Live Law.
The court said that the Child Welfare Committee will make sure that all financial benefits that the child can avail are provided without any delay.
“Assessment shall be made about the suitability and willingness of the guardian to take care of the child,” the court order said, reported Bar and Bench. “The DCPU [District Child Protection Units] should ensure that adequate provisions are made for ration, food, medicine, clothing...for the affected child.”
The court of Justices L Nageswara Rao and Aniruddha Bose took up the suo motu case to address the problems of the children impacted due to Covid-19.
During the course of Monday’s hearing, Additional Solicitor General KM Nataraj, representing the child rights body, told the court that some unscrupulous organisations and people were also publishing public advertisements for funds.