Egg donation case: Goondas Act slapped on teen’s mother and three others

On June 2, Erode South Police arrested the teen’s mother, mother’s partner, a broker under POCSO, and a person who helped them to forge the aadhaar card for the girl.
Egg Donation Case Erode Goondas Act
Egg Donation Case Erode Goondas Act
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Erode Police have filed a case under the Tamil Nadu Prevention of Dangerous Activities Act — otherwise known as the Goonda’s Act, on the mother of the teen girl who was forced to sell her ova (unfertilized egg) in various fertility hospitals and centers. The Act will also be applied on the mother’s partner, a broker and an individual who helped forge a false Aadhaar card for the girl. The four individuals were arrested early in June, under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act (POCSO). This move to apply the Goonda’s Act comes on the orders of Erode Collector H Krishnanunni.

The young girl was first forced to sell her eggs to hospitals in Erode and neighbouring districts when she was 12 years old, and was forced to do so for up to eight times over a four year period, by her mother and her partner. This issue came to light after the girl escaped from her house and told of the emotional, physical trauma, and sexual abuse she experienced in her own house to her relatives in Salem. The relatives rushed to the Erode South police station and filed a complaint against the mother and the other three persons involved in this crime. On June 2, Erode South Police arrested the three under POCSO and also arrested a person who forged the girl’s Aadhaar card by altering her name, address, and year of birth.

Following the arrest, the Directorate of Medical and Rural Health Services (DMS) conducted an inquiry in hospitals. Based on the survivor’s statement, a six-member team headed by the Joint Director of DMS, Dr. Viswanathan, conducted inquiries at Sudha hospital in Salem and Erode, Ram Prasad hospital in Perundurai, and Vijaya hospital in Hosur and submitted a report finding irregularities. Following this, Ma Subramanian, the Tamil Nadu Health Minister on July 14 said that the four hospitals will  face action. Subsequently, scanning centers at the hospitals were sealed.

Sudha hospital approached the High Court against the order and on July 21, a single judge of the Madras HC quashed the order passed by DMS to temporarily seal the hospital. Justice Abdul Quddhose observed that the authorities have failed to record the grounds for suspending the registration of hospitals without issuing any notice. However, the Tamil Nadu government moved the High Court against the single judge's order. On August 5, the first bench of Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice D Bharatha Chakravarthy upheld the government order of shutting down the hospital and sealing its scanning centers, and set aside the earlier order by the single judge.

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