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Police verification must for foreign volunteers with NGOs, says Delhi govt

On Friday, the Delhi High Court disposed off a plea, which had sought the formation of rules and regulations regarding volunteers and donors in special schools and institutions, based on the government’s submission.

delhi Updated: Jul 10, 2019 04:54 IST
Richa Banka
Richa Banka
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
police verification,delhi police,NGO foreign volunteers
Kumar’s lawyer, Ajay Verma had contended that police verification of the volunteers should be conducted to stop such incidents. Image used for representational purpose only.(Pradeep Gaur/ Mint)

All foreign volunteers coming to the national capital to work with NGOs working for people with disabilities will have to get a mandatory police verification certificate from the police of the country of their origins, the Delhi government has said.

On Friday, the Delhi High Court disposed off a plea, which had sought the formation of rules and regulations regarding volunteers and donors in special schools and institutions, based on the government’s submission.

“We have already included the police verification of the foreign volunteers as one of the guidelines and it will be now mandatory for these volunteers to get a police clearance certificate from the police of their country,” a senior official of Delhi government’s Social Welfare Department said.

The government’s submission comes after a series of high court orders on a plea by a social activist Prashant Kumar, who had sought framing of rules and regulations for monitoring the entry and exit of volunteers and donors in special schools and institutions. Kumar had filed the plea in 2017, following the arrest of Murray Ward, a British citizen, for abusing children of the National Association for Blind (NAB).

Kumar’s lawyer, Ajay Verma had contended that police verification of the volunteers should be conducted to stop such incidents.

Murray, 53, was arrested by the Delhi police on September 6, 2017. The police had filed a charge sheet against him on December 6, alleging that he was a habitual child abuser. Murray is currently lodged in jail and the trial is at the stage of recording of prosecution witnesses. As per the charge sheet, Ward was arrested in United Kingdom in 2012 where he was investigated for being a habitual offender.

Senior advocate SK Rungta, who was appointed amicus curiae in the case, also suggested periodic inspection and monitoring of NGOs working for the blind and disabled. Based on these suggestions, the court had directed the Delhi government to file an affidavit.

In its affidavit to the court submitted earlier this year, the Delhi government had said that there should be mandatory police verification and that all NGOs working for persons with disabilities will have to mandatorily register under Rights of Persons with Disabilities Rules, 2018, which came in force on December 28, 2018.

“This certificate of registration is issued by the competent authority after proper investigation of the applicant organisation by the concerned District Social Welfare Officer,” the affidavit read.

On Friday, the court disposed off the plea stating that the Delhi government would be bound to ensure the safety and security of the citizens of Delhi, especially those who are marginalised.

First Published: Jul 10, 2019 04:54 IST