Monday, May 17, 2010

MEDIA: CBI files case against Preet Mandir official

Time of India

PUNE: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a case against a managing trustee of city-based Preet Mandir and some state government officials for their alleged involvement in an 'inter-country adoption racket'.

However, a spokesperson of the NGO has strongly refuted the charges and has argued that the CBI in its earlier two probe reports in the same matter had given a clean chit to their managing trustee.

In an official mail to TOI on Monday, a CBI spokesperson has stated that the case was registered on the directions of the Bombay high court. It is an outcome of a criminal writ petition (no. 1945/2006) filed in the HC by Advait Foundation, an NGO, and another writ petition (no. 494/2007) filed by Sakhee, also an NGO, the CBI spokesperson said.

"It is alleged that during the period 2002 to 2010, the managing trustee of the Pune-based foundation entered into a criminal conspiracy with unknown persons and kidnapped the children of poor people in Maharashtra with a motive to send them in inter-country adoption to extort huge money from the adopting parents," the CBI spokesperson said.

The CBI spokesperson has said that the managing trustee was also involved in illegal trafficking of children and, for this purpose, he opened a rehabilitation centre at Kanhe Phata. "The managing trustee further obtained the Indian rejection slips from Indian parents fraudulently and forged these rejection slips with a motive to use them to send children for inter-country adoption. He also extorted money from Indian parents for adoption in the form of donation whereas there is a prescribed amount up to Rs 25,200, which can be claimed," the CBI spokesperson said.

"A total of 70 instances were detected between 2005 and 2010 in which he charged excess money more than Rs 50,000 from adopting parents. He also misappropriated the orphanage fund, to the tune of Rs 25,70,016, for own use during the period 2002-2007 by using his personal credit card. The unknown officials of the state government are also in connivance with the managing trustee, who managed to traffic children to the location of his foundation in Pune, avoiding the existing rules with ulterior motives. Investigation is continuing," the CBI spokesperson said.

The spokesperson of Preet Mandir told TOI: "There was no kidnapping of children who were adopted through a judicial process. Also, they were given in for adoption after completing all the legal formalities and after obtaining orders from family court as well as from the district court. Not a single case of kidnapping has happened as alleged by the CBI".

"Earlier, too, the CBI had probed these allegations against us and it had twice given us a clean chit. Even an independent inquiry committee appointed by the state government and the another by the Union government had given a clean chit to Preet Mandir. However, the CBI had requested the high court for further investigations and the court had asked them to submit their findings before it on May 20," the Preet Mandir spokesperson said.

Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.

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