Karnataka

High Court issues guidelines for CWCs on child surrender by parents

The High Court of Karnataka issued the guidelines while hearing a PIL petition related to an 'unfortunate' incident of a couple abandoning their two-week-old child in June 2021.   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

Filling a vacuum in the law on protection of children, the High Court Karnataka on Thursday issued guidelines on how the Child Welfare Committees (CWCs) will have to proceed to hold inquiry and counselling when parents or guardians want to surrender children on being unable to look after them for physical, emotional, and social factors beyond their control, as per the provisions of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.

High Court issues guidelines for CWCs on child surrender by parents

The court issued the guidelines while hearing a PIL petition related to an “unfortunate” incident of abandoning of a two-week-old child in June this year by parents, a couple in their early twenties who were in a live-in relationship in Mysuru. They had left the child at a house of one of their friends, who subsequently intimated the incident to the police.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice N.S. Sanjay Gowda passed the order on the petition filed by Letzkit Foundation, Bengaluru, which had through the PIL petition brought to the court’s notice the need of protecting the newborn child, based on reports in newspapers.

The unmarried parents declined to take care of the baby boy even after the Bench, headed by the Chief Justice, along with additional government advocate Vijayakumar A. Patil and amicus curiae B.V. Vidyulatha made attempts to convince them during in-camera proceedings earlier.

The child is now being taken care of in an NGO and the CWC, after completion of the process of surrender, has also issued a certificate that the child can now be adopted.

During the hearing of the petition, the Bench found it necessary to issue guidelines for the CWCs on how to conduct inquiry and counselling under Section 35 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, as the State government had failed to frame the rules. Stating that the guidelines would be in force in the absence of the rules, the Bench directed the government to frame the rules within three months.

 

As it was brought to the court’s notice that there are unscrupulous agencies indulging in illegal process of adoption to take benefit from such situations, the Bench said the CWCs would have to ensure that application for parents surrender of child was genuine and not intended to benefit the specialised adoption agencies.

The Bench also said the petition would remain pending till the child was validly adopted.


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Printable version | Dec 9, 2021 4:45:09 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/high-court-issues-guidelines-for-cwcs-on-child-surrender-by-parents/article36008281.ece

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