HC Impleads RPO in Tiruchy Home Case

Madurai Bench directs RPO to submit his response, after finding procedural violations in obtaining passports for children of the home

MADURAI: The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court has directed the Tiruchy regional passport officer (RPO) to submit his response in connection with the children of an unregistered home being sent to Germany on passports obtained by violating the government regulations.

The committee appointed on a court directive by the Tiruchy District Collector to ensure rehabilitation of 89 children who stayed in Mose Ministries, an unauthorised home run by a German pastor-couple, submitted its action taken report to the court on Friday.

On examining the passports of a few children submitted by the panel, the Division Bench of Justices V Ramasubramanian and N Kirubakaran expressed shock over the procedural violations in obtaining them.

“Pastor Gideon Jacob’s name is mentioned in the parent or guardian column while it is mentioned as ‘unknown’ in the mother column. When it is not possible to obtain a passport without the mother’s name, how these children were issued passports?” asked Justice Ramasubramanian.

Stating that it was a clear case of violation of government regulations, the judge directed that the regional passport officer be impleaded in the case and also sought an explanation from the Additional Solicitor General.

As regards the rehabilitation measures, the committee members explained that 20 children were already going to school. Asked about the status of the other children, they said most of them were dropouts, following which Justice Ramasubramanian ordered them to take steps to admit them in schools either within this or next academic year and provide counselling.

When advocate Geeta prayed for a CBI inquiry, the court said children were virtually suffering from a syndrome similar to Stockholm syndrome that makes them believe strongly that the pastor is their only saviour.

“First, we should help them slowly come out of the web of illusory world woven around them and rehabilitate them,” he said.

The court also told the committee to accept the submission of the parents claiming ownership of the children, but not to allow them to meet the children.

It also asked them to organise Christmas celebration for the kids.

Further, the court directed the committee to submit a report of the registered and unregistered homes functioning in the district.

In another case related to a Madurai-based children’s home, the bench directed the Child Protection Committee to submit a report on the authorised and unauthorised homes in Madurai district. The Bench posted the hearing of both the cases to December 21.

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