City's orphanage under high court scanner
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NEW DELHI: An orphanage, whose licence was revoked but later cancelled, is now under the scanner of Delhi high court for alleged child trafficking.
Justice Ajit Bharihoke earlier this week had asked the Delhi Police and the state government to investigate why there was a discrepancy in the number of children housed by the orphanage in 2008 and the numbers that came after three headcounts in past few years. Suspecting that some of the children might have been trafficked, the HC asked the police to probe this angle too.
The court was hearing a petition filed by one Dinesh Sharma, the father of a minor boy who was illegally dispatched to the orphanage by the police after he was found loitering alone. The kid was subsequently adopted by relatives of a member of Parliament, Navin Jindal. They lost the case before a guardianship court over the boy's custody to his father Sharma. The boy had gone missing while playing in front of his relatives house in Uttam Nagar in 2004. According to the family, he lost his way while returning home and was found by the police.
In his petition in the HC, Sharma through his lawyer D D Singhla has alleged that his son was illegally sent to the orphanage. A truck driver by profession, Sharma has also sought compensation from the government and the police for keeping his child away from him for the last four years. He also wants a CBI probe into the alleged nexus between the police and orphanages in Delhi.
According to Sharma's petition, his son was handed over to the Bal Vihar Orphanage in Palam by the police even when he had lodged a complaint with the police. He further alleged that as per report of the department of women and child welfare, produced in July 2008, the orphanage did not even have a licence to run an adoption agency, yet they handed over his son to one Anil and Vandana Jindal.
Instead of informing him that Prateek had been found, police decided to dispatch the kid to the orphanage, the father alleges in the petition, accusing the police of being hand-in-glove with the orphanage in running an adoption racket. The guardianship court that re-united the boy with his family took serious objection to the entire manner in which the minor was given away for adoption and faulted the police theory. It also asked the cops to improve policing.