Following a plea filed by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), the Supreme Court has issued notice to the Jharkhand government, seeking its response on the claim that children are being sold in shelter homes run by Missionaries of Charity.
A bench of Chief Justice SA Bobde has also issued notices to states like Arunachal Pradesh, West Bengal, Assam, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Maharashtra on the plea filed by NCPCR.
The plea sought a quick investigation of all such organizations in the state of Jharkhand, monitored by the Supreme Court, to ensure the protection of children. Besides, the petition also seeks to create an SIT in every state to investigate similar organizations in order to avoid the child rights violation in other states as well.
The NCPCR filed the petition through advocate Swarupama Chaturvedi and further sought cooperation of all states and Union Territories to facilitate and with Child Welfare Committee (CWC) for smooth work.
Claiming that the Jharkhand government had an insensitive approach towards protecting children from child rights violations, the NCPCR said during the course of an inquiry, "shocking revelations were made by the victims" which included that the children were being sold at Children Homes.
"These facts were emphatically brought to the notice of the Jharkhand government but continuous attempts were made to sabotage and derail the inquiry," NCPCR claimed.
The Commission said in the petition that it took 'Suo-Moto' cognizance of various media reports highlighting the "selling of children in shelter homes run by Missionaries of Charity".
The Commission said that on July 10, 2018, it wrote to the Chief Secretary of Jharkhand seeking a factual report along with authenticated copies of all the relevant documents within 30 days. On July 24 that year, the members of NCPCR had visited Nirmal Hriday Centre of Missionaries of Charity, Ranchi and witnessed severe irregularities in their functioning.
The Commission then conveyed it to the Chief Secretary and Director General of Police of Jharkhand and recommended an inquiry into the alleged irregularities found during their visit.
The Commission said that it has also written to various other states seeking correct information on the working of Missionaries of Charity, however, reports provided to the Commission were either full of inconsistency or were unsatisfactory in nature.
The petition sought a direction to Jharkhand and other state authorities regarding the protection and the welfare of rescued children and swift investigation in the matter to provide justice to victim children.
NCPCR also sought direction for "enforcement Fundamental rights of the prohibition of trafficking in human beings. The petition added that prohibition of trafficking in human beings includes the protection of children from trafficking, child prostitution other related offences without any hindrance."
(With inputs from ANI)