January 25, 2018
CHENNAI: The National Human Rights Commission NHRC has taken suo motu cognizance of a media report that a woman in Palakkad, Kerala, allegedly, traded her four-day-old baby for Rs. 1 lakh to a Pollachi-based couple. The couple belongs to Palakkad, Kerala. The mother was taken to Pollachi in Tamil Nadu, where the baby was sold. The Commission has observed that sale and purchase of the infant, as reported in this case, is truly violation of his human rights and the statutory provisions on adoption. Such illegal practices cannot be allowed in a civilized society.
The Commission has issued notices to the Chief Secretaries and DGPs, Government of Kerala and Tamil Nadu calling for a detailed report in the matter including action taken in similar cases, if any.
The Commission also issued notice to the Secretary, Union Ministry of Women & Child Development calling for a report in the matter, especially on the monitoring mechanism in place, at CARA for Protection of the Children/ Infants against the misuse of the adoption laws. All these authorities have been given six weeks to respond.
The Commission has further observed that adopting a child is not an illegal act. The Statutory provisions with regard to adoption of a child are laid down under the Hindu Adoption Maintenance Act, 1956, Juvenile Justice Act, 2015, Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Model Rules, 2016 and the Adoption Regulations, 2017. The Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA), a statutory body of the Ministry of Women & Child Development, Government of India is the nodal body, mandated to monitor in-country and inter-country adoptions. The contents of the news report indicate that due to poverty and lack of awareness poor people are forced even to sell their children.
According to the media report on January 25, 2018, the incident came to light around a month after the deal, when the mother returned to her parental home without the baby. She told her neighbours that she entrusted the child to a family at Pollachi. The mother of the infant has confessed that she was convinced by her husband and mother-in-law that the money from the deal could be used for the welfare of their other four children. Based on her confession, police registered a case and started searching for the father and grandmother who, reportedly, brokered the deal. The preliminary probe conducted by the Child Rights Committee and an NGO has found that the family has sold the infant for Rs. 1 lakh.