Gurugram, July 5 (IANS) A 35-year-old woman director of a shelter home here has been booked for illegally handing over children to adopters and for cruelty to the inmates, police said on Wednesday, adding that initial probe suggests it can be a case of human trafficking.
According to police, a case has been registered against Sister Lily, Director of Ujjwal Niketan Home in Sector-4 here, under Sections 75, 79 and 80 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2015.
“Although we have booked the Director of the shelter home under prevention of Juvenile Justice Act, but initial probe indicates possibility of a child trafficking racket behind the shelter home activities,” Gurugram Police spokesperson Ravinder Kumar told IANS.
Irregularities and infirmities were found by an Observation Home Committee during a surprise inspection of the Ujjwal Niketan by a team led by Gurugram’s Chief Judicial Magistrate-cum-District Legal Services Authority.
The team included Probation Officer Nisha Saini, and Arun Shokeen of the District Legal Services Authority.
During the inspection, two minors narrated their woes and their complaints were taken note of by the inspection team.
One of the children, who was brought to the home by Delhi Police, told the inspection team that Sister Lily was getting menial work done by her and had also taken her out of the home to several places.
The Director could not produce any record regarding the child. It was also discovered that she had not sent any information regarding the child to the Child Welfare Committee.
The committee also found that certain children had been handed over to various people in the name of “adoption”.
Sources claimed that the Ujjwal Niketan Home had 20 minor girls till December 2016, but the shelter home officials said that they (children) had been shifted to another shelter home of the NGO (Ujjwal Niketan Home), but no such record was produced.
There were violations with regard to the adoption procedure and girls in need and care of protection following their recovery had earlier been sent to other children’s homes, said Kumar.
Cruelty to a child is a punishable offence under Section 75 of the Juvenile Justice Act. The offender may face five years’ imprisonment and fine up to Rs 5 lakh.
Exploitation of child is a punishable offence under Section 79 of the Juvenile Justice Act. The offender may be awarded five-year imprisonment and fine up to Rs 1 lakh.
“The violation of adoption procedure and giving away a child is punishable under Section 80 of the Juvenile Justice Act,” Advocate Archna Chauhan told IANS.
The offender would face three years’ imprisonment and could be fined up to Rs 1 lakh, she added.