No Adoption Can Be Permitted Without Complying CARA Guidelines: Supreme Court Passes Directions For Protection Of Orphan Children
Supreme Court in its order dated June 7, 2021, issued directions for protection of Children who became orphan or lost a parent due to COVID 19 or otherwise.
A Division Bench of Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice Aniruddha Bose, while issuing guidelines, recorded submission of all parties on Identification, Immediate Relief and Education of such children.
On illegal adoption, the bench said, “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. Stringent action shall be taken by the State Governments/Union Territories against agencies/individuals who are responsible for indulging in this illegal activity.”
- State Governments/UTs are directed to continue identifying the children who have become orphans or lost a parent after March, 2020 either due to Covid-19 or otherwise and provide the data on the website of the NCPCR without any delay.
- DCPU has been directed to contact the affected child and their guardian immediately on receipt of information about the death of a parent/parents. It is entrusted upon the DPCU to ensure that adequate provisions are made for ration, food, medicine, clothing etc. for the affected child.
- DCPO is directed to furnish his phone number and name, phone number of local official, who can be contacted by the guardian and the child. Directions have been further issued for a regular follow up by the concerned authorities, with the child, at least once in a month.
- If the DCPO is of the prima facie opinion that the guardian is not suitable to take care of the child, he should produce the child before the CWC immediately.
- CWC should provide for all essential needs of the child during the pendency of inquiry, including all financial benefits.
- State Governments/UTs are directed to make provisions for continuance of education of children both in Government as well as in private schools.
- State Governments/UTs are further directed to take action against those NGOs/individuals who are indulging in illegal adoptions.
- Wide publicity should be given to the provisions of Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 and the prevailing schemes of the Union/State Governments/UTs, which would benefit the affected children.
- DPCO shall take assistance of government servants at the Gram Panchayat level to monitor the welfare of disconsolate children, who are devastated by the catastrophe of losing their parent/parents.
Learned ASG, Ms. Aishwarya Bhati submitted details of the scheme proposed by the Hon’ble PM on May 29, 2021 and further sought time to furnish modalities for implementation.
Learned Amicus Curiae, Gaurav Agrawal, suggested 6 steps for alleviation of forlorn children who lost both parents or a single parent due to COVID 19.
Directions of obtaining information from the Nodal Officers of 10 States, as identified by the Amicus, has been continued by the Court.
Need for continuous monitoring of the schemes in favour of affected children was also considered by the bench; “Special Juvenile Police Unit in each district and city shall be constituted as provided in Section 107 of the JJ Act, 2015. That apart, DCPO should take the assistance of the District Legal Service Authorities for coordinating the implementation of the schemes in favour of the affected children”
The matter is listed next for hearing on July 27, 2021.
Case Title: In Re Contagion of COVID 19 Virus In Children Protection Homes | SMW No. 4 of 2020