Supreme Court SC grants custody of minor child to adoptive parents

SC grants custody of minor child to adoptive parents

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New Delhi, Jun 18 (ILNS) The Supreme Court today granted custody of a minor child to her adoptive parents, since her biological mother had no objection to it and also issued a notice to the Child Welfare Committee.

The vacation Bench of Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice V Ramasubramanian has given the order.

Senior Advocate Raja Thakare appeared on behalf of adoptive parents and urged to provide the custody of minor child from the possession of Child Welfare Committee. (KRIPAL AMRIK SINGH AND ANR. Versus THE STATE OF MAHARASHTRA AND ORS.)

Senior Advocate Salman Khurshid, appeared on behalf of Durgamiti, biological mother of a child submitted that by way of adoption deed , a girl child was purportedly given in adoption to Kripal and Balwinder.

The Bench submitted that the child is not even in the custody of adoptive parents and of Biological mother, but is in custody of Child Welfare Committee, and child is orphaned by the order of the court.

The Bench, on a lighter note, addressed to the Counsel of petitioners, “You are asking for lesser relief, seeking interim relief of custody of a child.”

Kripal and Balwinder filed appeal against the impugned order of Bombay High Court, seeking release of minor child and handing over her custody to the petitioners.

The Division Bench of Bombay High court vide order Dated 18.3.2021, made observation that girl child is in need of care and Protection, which CWC is providing in terms of provisions of Juvenile Justice Act and dismissed the Habeas Corpus Writ. The Petitioner claimed that they adopted the said child, when she was about 2 weeks old.

The fact of the case is that an intimation letter was sent to the Child Welfare Committee stating that Durgamati, biological mother of the girl child, had no will to take care of child and she had decided to give her up for adoption and it is possible that girl child can be sold by biological mother, so CWC acted upon such letter and directed Durgamati to come before it with girl child once in a month and also directed NGO to keep an eye on the activities of Biological mother by visiting her once in a month.

Immediately thereafter, on January 22, 2019, a notarised Adoption Deed was signed by respondent No 3, whereby the girl child was purportedly given in adoption to the petitioners herein. On this basis, the girl child was given to the petitioners, who took her to Punjab.

The biological mother admitted before CWC that she had received Rs 40,000 from the petitioners for handing over the girl child. For this reason, an FIR was lodged against Kirpal and Durgamati under Section 80 of JJ Act. The CWC decided that girl child should be taken back and handed over to ‘Vatsalya Trust,’ a special adoptive agency.

The petitioners contended before the High Court of Bombay that they have not committed offence under Section 80 of the Juvenile Justice Act and further relied upon Section 56(3) of the Juvenile Justice Act, depicting that nothing in the JJ Act shall apply to the adoption of children made under provisions of the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956.

The High Court held that the girl child was in need of care and protection, thus CWC acted upon within their domain and functions prescribed under the JJ Act and proceeded correctly by taking over the custody of minor girl child.

The CWC relied upon the case of Exploitation of Children in Orphanages (supra) and S Vanitha (supra). In the said verdicts, the Supreme Court has emphasised upon the necessity to ensure that the rights of children are protected and that broad and purposeful interpretation is given to the definition “child in need or care and protection” under Section 2(14) of the Juvenile Justice Act. ILNS/KY/RJ

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