The Bombay HC on 18th March, 2021 directed an NGO to take custody of a 2 year old girl child who was sold by her own biological mother in the year 2019. The HC also praised the appointed advocate on behalf of Child Welfare Committee(CWC) for his vigilant efforts to ensure safe custody of the child.
Background of the case:
The respondent no. 3 in the present petition gave birth to the girl child in the year 2019. Immediately after giving birth the respondent expressed her unwillingness to take care of the child. Intimation of the same was given to a NGO. The NGO further reported same to the CWC. The CWC took cognizance of the matter and for ensuring safety of the girl child directed the respondent no. 3 to be present before CWC every month along with the girl child. The CWC also directed to visit respondent no. 3 every month to check whether she is taking care of the child or not.
Subsequently on one such Visit, the NGO found that the respondent no. 3 had sold the girl child to the petitioner for Rs. 20,000. On directions of CWC, the NGO reported it to the police. F.I.R. was registered against respondent no. 3 and the petitioner.
The petitioner had taken the girl child to Punjab. The CWC took custody of the child after F.I.R. was registered.
The petitioner contends that he had adopted the girl child from the respondent no. 3 by conducting a notarized ‘Adoption deed’. The petitioner relied on the adoption deed and seeked custody of the child based on that.
After perusing the adoption deed, the HC observed that the adoption was not in accordance with the provisions of ‘Hindu Adoption Act’. Thus the petitioner cannot claim the custody of the child only on the basis of the adoption deed.
Moreover it is admitted by the respondent no. 3 that she had received money from the petitioner. Thus in such circumstances it necessary to give custody of the child to the NGO to ensure the security and welfare of the child.
The HC also observed that all the actions taken by the CWC were in accordance of the law and were taken by keeping best interests of the child in mind.
The Hon’ble HC dismissed the writ petition as it lacked merit. Also the HC appreciated the advocate on behalf of CWC for his sincere efforts and quantified his fees at Rs. 10,000/-.
Story by Harshwardhan Pawar- Intern