12 Missionaries of Charity falsely accused of ‘trafficking’ - Dr. Abraham Mathai

posted Jul 18, 2018, 10:49 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jul 18, 2018, 10:51 AM ]
No criminal intention is made out, hence the FIR appears motivated. A Judicial enquiry is required for a fair investigation. The case in question - the ridiculous taunt by the media of 'trafficking' - is about a childless couple from UP having paid Rs 1.20 Lakh for the child. The facts emerging from the investigation so far is that the maid working for the Missionaries of Charity pocketed Rs.20000, the watchman Rs 10000 and the unwed biological mother of the child Rs 90000 to pursue her studies! Where is the criminality and the criminal intentions of the nuns of the Missionaries of Charity in all this? The worst maximum charge against them is that they should be reprimanded for administrative lapse, for not being vigilant enough.

Does the media know that the Government of India permits the charging of Rs 40,000 as fee for an adoption in India, and 5000 US Dollars for a foreign adoption? Despite these rules permitting them to charge, the Missionaries of Charity have not charged a rupee from any one at any of their adoption centres in the country so far, as it goes against their very values and ethos. In the Mumbai Centre alone, they have given over 7500 children for adoption in the last few decades, but not a single rupee has been collected. And now for the past ten days, they have been falsely accused of "child trafficking". Additionally, the word trafficking does not fit into this context, since the children have not been sold for exploitation in any way, but only as a facilitation for adoption by the Missionaries of Charity. At the most, the sisters are probably guilty of naivety and for over-trusting the people they employed, and nothing more, neither in criminal law or otherwise. Hence, it is absolutely ridiculous and shameful to falsely charge the nuns of the Missionaries of Charity in Jharkhand with child trafficking - an act which negates their raison d'être.

It is a settled rule of criminal law that no statement given to a police officer can be used in a court of law, except when such statements are given in the presence of a magistrate. In the present instance, all efforts seem to be only to garner media attention and create an atmosphere of hatred, and even releasing confessions made in police custody to select TV channels. It is ironic that in today's media driven world, confessions that have no sanctity of law are being aired on media channels. It is no secret that in the case involving a high profile school in Gurgaon, where a student was murdered, the driver was arrested, and his statement in police custody was used to brand him guilty of murder, only for the police to eat humble pie later. In the present circumstances, however, any prudent person will see that a judicial probe is needed in the present case to further the cause of justice.