Child care homes run by Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity across the country must be inspected immediately, the government instructed all states. This comes after recent cases of babies were allegedly sold for adoptions at a Missionaries of Charity shelter home in Jharkhand.
Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi also asked state governments to ensure that all child care institutions are registered and linked to the country' top adoption body, CARA, within a month.
In a short video put out by the police of the nun confessing to her role, she says three babies had been had been sold but the fourth infant, was given away for adoption for free. Three of the babies were recovered.
The racket at the Ranchi branch triggered a state-wide crackdown on shelter homes, particularly those run by the Missionaries of Charity.
The chairperson of Jharkhand's child protection body said the state had formed teams to inspect all its shelter homes and hoped to receive their reports in early August. "If we find any one operating such homes illegally, strong action will be taken," Arti Kujur told news agency Reuters.
The ministry said under the Juvenile Justice Act which came into effect more than two years ago it was mandatory for every shelter home dealing with children and their adoption to register and also link the organisation to the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA).
Approximately 2,300 child care institutions have been linked to CARA since December last year, but about 4,000 are still pending for linkage. Ms Gandhi has expressed displeasure that even though 2,300 institutions that have been linked to the CARA, the children available in these institutions have still not been brought into the adoption system.
According to National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, there are over 2.3 lakh children in all the child care institutions - registered and the unregistered ones - in the country.
(With inputs from Reuters and PTI)