The Supreme Court has directed State Governments/ Union Territories to to ensure that there is no break in the education of children who have been orphaned or lost a parent during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Court also directed States/UTs to take action against NGOs/Individuals who are indulging in illegal adoptions.
The Court was hearing the suo moto plea initiated by the Court to consider the problems affecting children during COVID titled as Re: Contagion of Covid-19 Virus in Children Protection Homes.
The Bench of Justice L Nageswara Rao and Justice Aniruddha Bose has directed the State Government/Union Territories should ensure that there is no break in the education of children who have become orphans or lost either one parent during the Pandemic. The Court further directed to continue identifying the children who have become orphans or lost a parent after March, 2020 either due to Covid-19 or otherwise and provide the data on the website of the NCPCR without any delay. The identification of the affected children can be done through Childline (1098), health officials, Panchayati Raj Institutions, police authorities, NGOs etc.
The State Governments/Union Territories are directed to make provisions for continuance of education of the children both in Government as well as in private schools.
The Court had also expressed concerns about illegal adoption of Children orphaned by COVID-19 and said, “No adoption of affected children should be permitted contrary to the provisions of the JJ Act, 2015. Invitation to persons for adoption of orphans is contrary to law as no adoption of a child can be permitted without the involvement of CARA. Stringent action shall be taken by the State Governments/Union Territories against agencies/individuals who are responsible for indulging in this illegal activity.”