Adoption irregularities: Preet Mandir denies charges; hearing on Sept 24

Date: 2009-09-12

Nisha Nambiar

Pune The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) wants to re-investigate the case against Pune-based adoption agency Preet Mandir. Two years ago it gave a clean chit to the agency. Till now it has cleared the agency of irregularities in foreign adoptions twice.

Preet Mandir authorities, however, maintain that the allegations are baseless and have said it will respond after the CBI files an affidavit for re-investigation. “We have been given the clean chit twice. We will wait for the affidavit to be filed by the CBI and we we will reply once we get a copy of the affidavit,” said spokesperson of Preet Mandir Y V Krishnamurthy.

On Thursday, the CBI told the Bombay High Court that they would submit a fresh report after another probe as they felt that their earlier inquiries on the adoption agency were ‘incomplete.’ The next hearing is on September 24.

The CBI gave a clean chit in October 2007 and in July last year the High Court gave a nod to foreign adoptions.

Additional solicitor general Darius Khambatta said there was a need for further investigation. The division bench of Justice Bilal Nazki and Justice A R Joshi asked the CBI to file an affidavit stating that they require further investigation. The CBI admitted there were “defeats and lapses” in the earlier investigation reports.

Anjali Pawar Kate, director of Sakhi, a Pune-based child rights organisation, and Advait Foundation, another NGO, had filed the writ petition against the adoption agency in 2007. In 2007, the court had issued a stay on foreign adoption activities and had demanded a CBI inquiry. The stay was lifted after the CBI gave a clean chit in October 2007. Kate said she was happy that the case has been taken up again. At present, the agency is engaged in both domestic and foreign adoptions as they have been issued fresh licences. The domestic licence was renewed in July 2007 and is valid till September 2010 while the licence for foreign adoptions was renewed last year and is valid till 2011.

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