HC asks Union govt if cen­tral au­thor­ity NOC is a must for adop­tion

Re­sponse sought on a plea of 2-year-old adopted girl

Hindustan Times (Jalandhar) - - NEWS - Suren­der Sharma suren­der.sharma@hin­dus­tan­times.com

CHANDI­GARH: The Pun­jab and Haryana high court has asked min­istry of ex­ter­nal af­fairs (MEA) to ap­prise it whether for adop­tion un­der the Hindu Adop­tion and Main­te­nance Act (HAMA)-1956, no ob­jec­tion cer­tifi­cate (NOC) from the Cen­tral Adop­tion Re­source Au­thor­ity (CARA) is manda­tory.

The re­sponse was sought on the plea from a two- year- old girl, adopted by an NRI cou­ple. She was one of the twins born to a Ja­land­har cou­ple and sub­se­quently adopted by NRI sis­ter of her nat­u­ral mother.

They had ap­plied for pass­port, but it was re­fused on the ground that there was no NOC from CARA. It is a statu­tory body for adop­tion of In­dian chil­dren and is man­dated to mon­i­tor and reg­u­late in-coun­try and in­ter-coun­try adop­tions. CARA is es­tab­lished un­der Ju­ve­nile Jus­tice Act (JJA), 2015. The girl was born in Novem­ber 2017 to a Sikh fam­ily in Ja­land­har.

She was adopted as per Sikh rites per­formed at a lo­cal Gur­d­wara as both the sides of par­ents were Sikhs to which a cer­tifi­cate too was is­sued. An adop­tion deed was ex­e­cuted be­tween both the par­ents in Novem­ber 2018 un­der the Hindu Adop­tion and Main­te­nance Act (as ap­pli­ca­ble to Sikhs). There­after, the fam­ily ap­plied for girl’s pass­port which was re­jected by au­thor­i­ties stat­ing that NOC from CARA was manda­tory.

As per pe­ti­tioner girl’s ad­vo­cate Sukhwinder Nara, Sec­tion 56 (3) of the JJ Act 2015 states that the pro­vi­sions of the JJ Act would not be ap­pli­ca­ble to the adop­tion of chil­dren made un­der the pro­vi­sions of HAMA, lat­ter be­ing a ‘spe­cial law’. JJ Act does not over­ride the pro­vi­sions of HAMA Act, it was ar­gued adding that in view of this pass­port can­not be de­nied.

On the other hand, Cen­tral gov­ern­ment coun­sel had ar­gued it is a manda­tory pro­ce­dure for the adop­tion to be rat­i­fied by CARA, even though JJ Act would not be ap­pli­ca­ble to an adop­tion un­der HAMA. There are no­ti­fi­ca­tions which cat­e­gor­i­cally state that the Hague Con­ven­tion it­self man­dates adop­tions to be through CARA alone, the coun­sel had added. The bench of jus­tice Jaishree Thakur sought Cen­tre and CARA’s re­sponse ob­serv­ing that a per­ti­nent ques­tion has been raised whether an NOC is to be ob­tained and whether the pro­vi­sions of the JJ Act would ap­ply to adop­tions un­der HAMA. “Let a de­tailed re­ply be filed by the re­spon­dents rais­ing all ob­jec­tions therein and by plac­ing on record all no­ti­fi­ca­tions as re­lied upon,” the bench said post­ing the mat­ter for June 10.

GIRL IS ONE OF THE TWINS BORN TO A JA­LAND­HAR COU­PLE AND SUB­SE­QUENTLY ADOPTED BY NRI SIS­TER OF HER NAT­U­RAL MOTHER

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