Child welfare council’s ‘preferential treatment’ raises eyebrows

The ‘preferential treatment’ given by the Kerala government to the Kerala State Council for Child Welfare (KSCCW), which is in the eye of a controversy over the alleged illegal adoption of a baby without the consent of his parents, raised eyebrows many people.

The KSCCW, a company registered under the Travancore-Cochin Literary, Scientific and Charitable Societies Registration Act, is patronized by the Governor. While the chief minister is its president, the Minister of Social Justice is its first vice-president, according to its website.

State officials, namely the directors of social justice, public education and health services, are members of its executive committee.

Organization with the words State of Kerala in its name, according to legal sources, is against the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Inappropriate Use) Act 1950 which prohibits the use of any name , official emblem or seal of central and state governments without the prior authorization of the central government.

However, a former company official said that the state government issued an order allowing the company to carry the words State of Kerala on its behalf decades ago.

The company, said one of its officials who declined to be cited, has operated under the name and style since its inception and in accordance with its policies. Therefore, no illegality, he said.

The state government had allocated ₹ 1 crore to the company in the 2021-22 budget. Two government officials, a deputy secretary and an under secretary, are working with the company on the deputy, he said.

KSCCW general secretary Shiju Khan, who felt there was a concerted effort to torpedo the company, declined to comment on the issues.

RK Asha, a lawyer and human rights activist, questioned what she called an undue privilege granted by the state government to the company.

“The government should clarify the preferential treatment of society, including the allocation of funds, which goes against the functioning of the Child Protection Committee, established by law. The name of the organization, its boss, its president and the other members of the executive committee give the impression that it is a government entity, ”Ms. Asha said.

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