HC grants conditional custody to woman who abandoned her kids

  • Kanchan Chaudhari, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Nov 25, 2014 19:51 IST

The Bombay high court (HC) recently passed an order for the custody of two minors – a girl and a boy – to be handed back to their biological mother who had earlier abandoned them, on the condition that the woman shows love and affection towards the children.

After being deserted by her husband, the woman had abandoned the children, committing an offence under section 317 of the Indian Penal Code.

When the children were later being considered for adoption, the mother had approached the Child Welfare Committee, Thane, asking that they be returned to her.

After the woman presented herself in court, the HC on September 24 ordered DNA fingerprinting to be carried out by the State Forensic Science Laboratory, Kalina, which confirmed that the woman was indeed the children's biologic mother.

The court also directed Shejar Chhaya, the NGO caring for the children, to confirm the other claims made by the woman – that she is now employed at Cotton Green and was earning Rs 7,000 a month. The NGO was also asked to visit her residence in Sewri, in addition to filing a report about the way she behaved with the children. The NGO submitted a report saying the woman’s behaviour implied she did not care much for her children.

Justice Dalvi, however, allowed the woman to take custody of the children, saying, “Nevertheless, she is biological mother of the children, the court deems it fit to allow her to take custody of the children, but subject to certain safeguards.”

The court has directed that the children, who are studying in an English medium school in Navi Mumbai, will continue to be under the care of the NGO for the present academic year. Their custody will be handed over to the woman only in June 2015, subject to the condition that she improves her behaviour towards them and shows love, care and affection.

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