Seven years after a minor girl was given diksha (ordained as a nun) as per the Jain religion, the Bombay high court will decide whether a minor is capable of deciding whether he/she wants to renounce the world.
The court will also decide on whether it can interfere in a religious matter, which is in conflict with the child’s rights.
A division bench of justice Ranjana Desai and justice RV More on Monday kept the petition filed by Ashok Bagricha for hearing on August 23. The issues were raised when a minor girl, a resident of Indore, was given diksha on May 11, 2004 in the city.
The NGO, Child Line, had also filed a petition challenging the conversion of the girl.
The court has sought assistance of additional solicitor general Darius Khambata and advocate general Ravi Kadam on the issue. In 2008, a division bench of high court had compared child diksha with sati (practice of immolating a widow on her husband’s funeral pyre).
The girl’s parents and a Jain community group contended that neither the high court nor the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) have jurisdiction to inquire into the matter because the girl was from Indore, which is not in Maharashtra.
On a HC directive, the CWC had interviewed the girl and reported that “the young girl needs care.”