Thanks to the Supreme Court intervention, a woman was reunited with her six-year-old daughter who was taken away from her a month after she delivered the child.
A bench comprising justice GS Singhvi and justice AK Ganguly called the Madhya Pradesh high court verdict unsustainable and said a stranger could not have child’s custody if the biological guardian was alive.
Acting on a petition filed by Jabalbur based Tabassum Bano, the court directed immediate handing over of the girl to the petitioner. The adoptive parents had argued though they have not legally adopted the girl, they want the child’s custody in ‘her welfare’.
Turning down this plea, the bench observed the issue of a child’s welfare would arise if there was a dispute between the biological parents. It also disagreed with the HC’s conclusion that since the girl had lived with the adoptive parents since birth, it would be difficult for her to adjust with the biological mother.
Tabassum delivered her child on June 6, 2004, a month after she lost her husband. Since she was undergoing treatment for depression, her gynecologist advised Tabassum’s sister to let the child be in the custody of foster parents.
Tabassum’s advocate Sushil Kumar Jain said: “Nobody took Tabassum’s consent before giving away the child. It is admitted that the woman to whom the girl was given in custody was not even legally married.”
A year-and-a-half after Tabassum recovered from trauma, she wanted her daughter back. When the adoptive parents refused her request, she began her legal battle.