Pune Preet Mandir's licence suspended

Date: 2010-06-18

PUNE: Bajirao Jadhav, commissioner for Women and Child Development, under the ministry of Women and Child Welfare Department, today ordered temporary closure of Pune Preet Mandir for their alleged link to a number of adoption-related controversies over the past few years.

The committee has started the process of shifting the 74 children, housed at the centre to various government-recognised children's home in the city till the the Bombay High court gives a verdict on the alleged irregularities in the adoption procedures at the agency. The children will be staying at the various orphanages run by the government till the case is resolved.

The controversies, which have reached the Bombay High Court, are being probed by the CBI.

Jadhav told UNI that the licence has been temporarily suspended to safeguard the 74 children's interests. ''As it is, the Central Adoption Resources Agency (CARA) has disallowed overseas adoption of children from the agency, judicial procedures take time and the children must be looked after till then,'' he said.

Child Welfare committee member Anita Vipat said, ''The Committee, as per the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act, is transferring the children to various homes, depending upon their age group and medical status. The agency has children up to 12 years, most of them between the age group of 0 and 6 years.'' The Preet Mandir agency has been facing charges of trading in children overseas by misleading adopters and Central Bureau of Investigation is still investigating the case, she said.

The Bombay High Court had directed additional solicitor general D J Khambata to seek instruction from Central Adoption Resources Agency (CARA), and Union Ministry for Women and child welfare to cooperate with the CBI on Wednesday last. The most recent controversy involved sale of an HIV-positive boy, who later died, by the Gurukul Godavari Balak Ashram in Yerawada to a Mumbai couple and police arrested the ashram head and a Preet Mandir official.

Meanwhile, children from Preet Mandir were shifted to the Bharatiya Samaj Seva Kendra and three others orphanages.



Not such a clean chit after all.

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