‘Failed to inform board about the girl’s marriage’

The orphanage authorities, who are at the centre of a storm following accusations of them forcing a minor girl to marry a UAE national, in their reply to a show-cause notice issued by the Orphanage Control Board have reportedly said that they are responsible only for a procedural error in the matter. But sources said that the authorities admitted that there was haste in conducting the marriage even though it was legal.

The procedural lapse that the authorities seem to be pointing at is the failure to inform the board about such a marriage taking place in the orphanage.

As per Clause 22 of the Orphanages Act, no female inmate of a home shall be discharged or given in marriage or entrusted to the care of any other person unless such female has made a declaration before the Board or an officer specified by it in this behalf that she consents to such discharge, marriage or entrustment, as the case may be, and, if the inmate to be given in marriage is a minor, unless the Board or officer, as the case may be, has, after recording the reasons in writing, given its or his approval thereto’. The Chairman of the Board of Control of Orphanages and Other Charitable Homes, P.C. Ibrahim, said that the marriage was in clear violation of the Orphanages and Other Charitable Homes (Supervision And Control) Act, 1960. A show-cause notice was issued to which a reply has to be submitted within 7 days.

When contacted by The Hindu, Mr. Ibrahim said that his office is yet to get the reply.

“We heard that they have sent it by post today.Once we get it, a board meeting will be convened to decide on further action on it,” he said. Meanwhile, the three main office-bearers of the orphanage who relinquished their posts on Sunday are still absconding.

Their anticipatory bail will be considered on Tuesday. The bail applications of the UAE national’s family members will also be considered on the same day.

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