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HC vacates stay on foreign adoptions from Preet Mandir


Express News Service

Mumbai, July 22 The Bombay High Court on Tuesday vacated the stay on foreign adoptions from Preet Mandir, an adoption centre in Pune, so that the children are not affected.

NGOs Advait Foundation (AF) and Sakhee had filed a petition in the High Court last year following a sting operation by a TV news channel that showed Preet Mandir handing over babies for adoption to foreign couples and charging them exorbitant amounts under the guise of donations.

Advocate for AF Pradeep Havnur said that the court, however, has made it clear that the adoption agreements from Preet Mandir can be sealed only after seeking the permission from the court.

The court had earlier directed the TV channel to file an affidavit in the case. In an affidavit submitted to the court on Tuesday, the channel has stated that its report is authentic but the CBI, in the process of its investigations, has not interrogated any of the adoptive parents who have given testimonies against the adoption centre. The affidavit stated that the centre’s owner JS Bhasin had even demanded foreign liquor and washing machines from the adoptive parents.

The court, in April 2007, had stayed foreign adoptions from Preet Mandir until the 30 odd cases pending in family courts in Pune and investigations of the CBI were concluded.

Justice Bilal Nazki and Justice A A Kumbhakoni were of the view that children should not be made to suffer because of allegations made against the centre as they may find it difficult to find adoptive families if they grow too old.

2008 Jul 23