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Friday, Oct 18, 2019

HC relief for Swiss national trying to trace her biological parents in India

he 41-year-old woman has been given in adoption to a Swiss couple way back in August 1978, when she was barely a few months old, and has been residing in the European country ever since.

india Updated: Oct 09, 2019 16:33 IST
Kanchan Chaudhari
Kanchan Chaudhari
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
A bench of justice Akil Kureshi and justice SJ Kathawalla found nothing wrong in the regulation stating it rightly prohibited information about adoption being given to third parties.
A bench of justice Akil Kureshi and justice SJ Kathawalla found nothing wrong in the regulation stating it rightly prohibited information about adoption being given to third parties.(Photo: Girish Srivastava/HT archive photo of Bombay high court)
         

In a reprieve for a Swiss national, the Bombay high court on Wednesday directed the Maharashtra state adoption resource authority (SARA) to provide information to the woman’s power of attorney about her adoption so she can trace her biological parents.

The 41-year-old woman has been given in adoption to a Swiss couple way back in August 1978, when she was barely a few months old, and has been residing in the European country ever since. She wanted to trace her Indian roots and had therefore approached the central adoption resource authority (CARA) in 2013. Acting on her plea, CARA wrote SARA and the concerned adoption agency as well, but the petitioner did not hear anything from them.

Two years later she executed a power of attorney empowering activist-turned-lawyer Anjali Pawar to obtain information about her adoption in order to reach her biological parents.

The 41-year-old moved high court after SARA in June 2018 refused to entertain the plea filed by Pawar on the ground that the regulations promulgated by the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) prohibited information about adoption being given to a third party.

Her counsel, advocate Pradeep Havnur, submitted that SARA refused to entertain plea filed by the power of attorney holder by misinterpreting Regulation 44(6) of the CARA Regulations which prohibits information about adoption being given to a third party.

He pointed out that the petitioner is settled in Switzerland and she can’t spend months in India to trace her roots and has therefore executed power of attorney to empowering Pawar to take the root search to overcome the practical difficulty.

A bench of justice Akil Kureshi and justice SJ Kathawalla found nothing wrong in the regulation stating it rightly prohibited information about adoption being given to third parties.

The bench, however, said the rule cannot be invoked to prohibit a power of attorney from obtaining the information, for the power of attorney ceases to be a third party once the adopted person authorised him or her to obtain information on his behalf.

The court has now directed the Swiss national to prepare a fresh affidavit stating she has authorised Pawar to obtain information necessary to trace her roots in India, and send it directly to SARA.

SARA, in turn, has been directed to provide necessary information to the power of attorney on receipt of the fresh affidavit.

First Published: Oct 09, 2019 16:33 IST

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