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Many Child Care Institutions Misusing Foreign Contributions : NCPCR Tells Supreme Court

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) in its reply affidavit to the challenge to the provisions of Foreign Contributions Regulation Act (FCRA) has alleged that many child care institutions in the country are being run illegally and are receiving funds from certain suspicious foreign organisation.

A Supreme Court bench consisting of Justices Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and Ravi Kumar reserved this batch of petition for orders on 9th November 2021. These batch of petitions challenge the validity of section 7 of the FCRA act, which prohibits the transfer of foreign funds.  Section 12A which provides for aadhaar as an identification for prior approval and registration. Section 17 which mandates opening of FCRA primary account exclusively in a branch of State Bank of India in New Delhi notified by the Centre.

The NCPCR has filed its reply in one case among the batch titled Vinay Vinayak Joshi Vs Union of India. The reply states that the affidavit is being filed to bring on record the work done by NCPCR to stop misuse of foreign funds by NGOs. It further states that there are NGOs without FCRA registration and they are being funded by NGOs with the registration upon receiving foreign funds.

According to the reply an NGO named “Centre for Equity Studies,” (an NGO run at behest of Harsh Mander) which has FCRA registration and receives foreign funds and further gives it to NGOs namely Rainbow Foundation India, which runs Child Care Institutions (CCI) in various cities in India without having an FCRA registration. It is alleged that during the inspection of CCIs in Delhi, NCPCR has found non-compliance of mandatory provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act in addition to many incidences of offence under POCSO Act.

The reply states that Rainbow Foundation India had informed them that the Ummed Aman Ghar in Delhi is jointly managed and funded by them and Centre for Equity Studies and an FIR has been registered by the police against these institutions. The reply further states that matters related to inspection of these CCIs are pending before the Delhi High Court.

According to the reply, the NCPCR conducted inspection of 3 CCIs running under the Rainbow Homes Program and that they have been informed by the Chennai Police that an FIR has been registered against these CCIs. The reply states that they have written to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to look into foreign funds received by “Centre for Equity Studies” and “Arun” and how they have been utilised.

The reply states that NCPCR conducted inspection of 5 children homes in Assam and Manipur which were being run by Markaz-ul-Maarif and the inspector team got to know that the children in these homes had not been produced before the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) as prescribed under law and they have been living there without the orders of CWC. According to the reply, these homes have been receiving funds from certain foreign agencies in addition to receiving government grants.

According to the reply, it was found during the inspection that a home called Markaz Darul Yatama Home, Dhurbi has been receiving funds from a Turkey based organisation called IHH. The Turkish law officers interrogated IHH and found out that it is linked with international organisation. The reply states that an FIR has been registered by Assam Police against Markaz Darul Yatama for Boys and Hojai.

According to the reply, NCPCR inspected CCI run by Asha Deep Foundation, Ghaziabad in November 2019 and found that their registration had been canceled and only a school hostel was supposed to be functioning in the premises. It further states that on inspection of the rooms/lockers around 26 Bibles were retrieved from children belonging to Hindu and Muslim community and that the officials of the NGO failed to show consent of family members of the children for imparting such religious education. The reply states that this prima facie indication that forceful religious conversion of children was taking place in violation of Article 28(3) of the Constitution of India and an FIR has been registered against them.

According to the reply according to various statements made by the children to the CWC, the children had been illegally confined to their rooms, maltreated, beaten and have been deprived of proper food and education. The reply further states that the children were also forced to recite Christian prayers and worship a particular deity against their will and were being forced to convert to another religion.

According to the reply, the NCPCR has also received complaints wherein serious allegations have been made against Nalgonda Diocese Society, Telangana of indulging in forceful religious conversion of minors staying in their homes. It has also been alleged there are illegal activities taking place in the orphanages sponsored by the organisation and that the complainant had also provided a letter between the organisation and Mgr Joseph Chevalier Foundation, Quebec for sponsorship.

Advocate Swarupama Chaturvedi is appearing for the NCPC in the plea.

Case Title:  Vinay Vinayak Joshi Vs Union of India & Ors.  Source: Lawbeat.in