Case registered for the trafficking of children
Joemol Eby & others Vs. State of Kerala & Ors. The Petitioners submits that the children admitted to the Beauty Fallace International football school located in Kothamangalam were lured in the hope that they would be given world class football coaching. It is submitted that on the contrary these children were made to live in extremely cramped condition with no proper facilities or food. Despite an offence of trafficking being registered none of the trafficking protocols were followed resulting in most of the children except three withdrawing their statements. It is submitted that trafficking is a serious offence and a callous investigation would result in loss of evidence crucial for prosecution. It is under these circumstances the Petitioner is approaching this Hon’ble court. The Petitioners are parents of children ages 13-14 who were part of the Beausyfalace international football school which is in Kothamangalam. It is submitted that the petitioners come from extremely poor economic background with earning their living through daily wage.These children were brought from economically backward districts from the interiors of Kannur,Malappuram, Kasargod, Wayanad. On account of their children’s love for football school run by the Respondent on the assurance the children would be given world class training in the likes of famous footballers. The brochure claimed to be provide free training but the Petitioners had to pay Rs.4500 per monthly expenditure which includes food and other facilities. It is further submitted that at the time of admission as amount of Rs.10000 was taken from them. The petitioner submits that the transportation fees for the tournaments if any were taken from the children and no formal football coaching or qualified instructor to train these children as claimed in their brochure. There was only a tutor who would come daily to help the children with the studies. They were charged another Rs 500 per month for the same. It is submitted that though the advertising pamphlets claimed that training through experienced instructors, with international level facilities for training with nutritious diet, the same was not provided in any form. It is submitted that even the lunch was dependent on the midday meal scheme. The Uniforms of the neighborhood school was given to them at a rate of Rs.100. It was found that the school is not registered under directorate of education.Also the children were taken to local games for the purpose of earning money through these football matches. The money won through these football matches amounting to various denominations from Rs.5000 to 5 lakhs were all appropriated by the 4th Respondent. The children were not given any portion therein and entire expense of the travel and food also were extracted from them. The children were used as a tool to earn money for the 4th Respondents in the guise of football matches. The petitioners submit that it was a lucrative income for the respondent as these children were extremely good players and would win invariably all the matches. It is submitted that the 4th Respondent had taken advantage of the illiteracy,ignorance, poverty and the aspirations of the desire of the children from the interior districts of Kannur, Malappuram, Wayanad etc for his own advantage and this amounts to trafficking. It is submitted that it was when though the intervention of the special juvenile police unit, the irregularities in the functioning of the school came to the Petitioner’s knowledge. The Petitioners realized that the amount taken from the school did not have any registration or recognition from any authority and the amount taken from them in the form of fees was not utilized for the children’s benefit in any manner. The children were made to live in extremely unhygienic conditions and the quality of food provided to them was of extremely substandard without any nutritional benefit though it was claimed that the children were being given nutritious food. A crime was registered at the Kothamangalam police station under the Juvenile Justice care and Protection Act 2015. Status: The hon’ble lower court was pleased to grant bail without even looking into the seriousness of the offence. It is submitted that the children who had made the complaint initially had withdrew their statement as soon as the 4th Respondent was released on bail except that of 3 children who were with their parents. Almost 20 children who had made their statements to the police were now reluctant to reiterate their statement. It is submitted that the 4th respondent have been along with other people have been coming to the house of the parents who have remained firm to threaten them. Thus submitted that all the stakeholders have to function in a coordinated manner to protect the interest of the victims rather than assisting the wrongdoer to go scot free.