Calvary Church faces allegations of medical negligence and cruelty, complaint by LRPF

VSK Telangana    09-Jul-2024
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A formal complaint has been lodged against Calvary Ministries, Bellampally, and its chief functionaries, Pastor R. Praveen Kumar and Ms Sharon, for alleged medical negligence and cruelty towards a young girl in the name of miracle healing. The complaint filed by LRPF (Legal Rights Protection Forum), addressed to the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), highlights the severe implications of the ministry’s actions on the health and dignity of the minor.
LRPF highlighted that a video was posted on May 16, 2024, on the official YouTube channel of Pastor Praveen Kumar. In the video, a mother explains that she took her daughter, who was under intensive care at Niloufer Hospital in Hyderabad due to kidney damage, to a Miracle Healing Show organized by Calvary Ministries. The mother stated that doctors had informed her that her daughter’s condition was critical and that she might not survive. Ignoring medical advice, the family took the girl to the healing event, where she was reportedly forced to walk during the show, despite her critical condition.
The video, which has since garnered widespread attention, shows the mother narrating how she signed an undertaking absolving the hospital of any responsibility before taking her critically ill daughter to the church event. The child, who had been bedridden and immobile due to severe kidney damage, was made to participate in the healing show, which the complainants argue constitutes cruelty and medical negligence.
Who or what is Calvary Ministries?
Calvary Ministries was registered as a trust in 2003 (Registration No: 39/2013), and has a history of organizing large-scale miracle healing shows, claiming to cure critical medical issues through prayer. Previous allegations against the ministry include an FIR (No: 46/2019) dated May 25, 2019, under sections 304-II and 420 read with 34 IPC. This case involved the death of a 21-year-old man, Girishetty Rajesh, who, suffering from severe fever, was prevented from leaving a healing event to seek medical treatment, ultimately resulting in his death.
The trust, led by Pastor R. Praveen Kumar and his wife Ms. Sharon, has been accused of exploiting the faith of poor and uneducated individuals by promoting miracle cures over legitimate medical treatments. Testimonies from purportedly healed individuals are regularly showcased in their events and online channels, further perpetuating the belief in their healing powers.
It is alleged that the activities of Calvary Ministries potentially violate the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act of 1954, which prohibits advertisements of magic remedies for treating certain diseases and disorders. The act outlines penalties for violations, including imprisonment and fines. Section 5 of the act specifically prohibits any form of advertisement claiming the efficacy of such remedies, while section 7 details the penalties for infringement, including imprisonment for up to six months for the first offence and up to one year for subsequent offences.
LRPF has urged the NCPCR to:
Direct the Director General of Police, Telangana, and the Principal Secretary, Health & Family Welfare, Government of Telangana, to conduct an inquiry and register an FIR regarding the girl being moved from ICU care to the Miracle Healing Show, contrary to medical advice. Instruct the Telangana government to identify the girl, assess her current health condition, and ensure she receives necessary medical care.