Nagaland, 28 Other States Fail To Meet SC Order On Adoption Agencies - Eastern Mirror
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Nagaland, 28 other states fail to meet SC order on adoption agencies

By EM Bureau Updated: Jul 09, 2024 10:41 pm

DIMAPUR — The Supreme Court on Tuesday expressed strong disapproval over the widespread failure of states and Union Territories to establish Specialised Adoption Agencies (SAAs) in all districts, a mandate aimed at streamlining adoptions of abandoned and surrendered children.

Nagaland is among the states facing potential contempt proceedings for non-compliance.

Despite a Supreme Court order requiring all 34 states and Union Territories to establish SAAs in every district by January 31, 2024, a total of 370 out of 760 districts across the country still lack these crucial agencies.

Only five states — Chandigarh, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala and Rajasthan — have achieved full compliance.

Flagging the issue before the court on Tuesday, Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati, appearing for the Centre, said that 29 states and UTs have not complied with the direction of the court, with Nagaland, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Punjab, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand being the major defaulters.

The bench, comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, expressed particular concern over the lack of progress and said that it was “compelled to take coercive proceedings against the state governments and the Union territories (UTs)”.

Accordingly, it directed chief secretaries of non-compliant states, including Nagaland, to submit compliance reports by August 30 or appear before the court on September 2 to explain why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against them.

It may be noted that SAAs, a mandatory requirement under the Juvenile Justice Act, prepare home study reports for prospective adoptive parents, referring legally-free children for adoption, and providing essential child study and medical reports.

Stating that the matter will be taken up on September 2, the apex court also asked the states and the UTs to file affidavits explaining whether stipulated timelines under the adoption regulations of 2022 are being met, as well as explanations for any instances of non-compliance with these timelines.

The apex court was hearing a PIL filed by “The Temple of Healing” which sought simplification of the legal process for child adoption in India, saying only 4,000 adoptions take place annually in the country.

By EM Bureau Updated: Jul 09, 2024 10:41:11 pm
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