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Sunday, November 29, 2020

Booked for ‘purchasing’ child: Mumbai Court says no ulterior motive of couple in adoption of boy

The court had last month allowed five couples, who were booked by the Mumbai Police last year during the probe of an inter-state child trafficking racket, to adopt the children who were rescued by the police.

Written by Sadaf Modak | Mumbai | Updated: November 3, 2020 12:41:23 pm
Booked for ‘purchasing’ child, child trafficking, child adoption, Mumbai sessions court, Maharashtra news, Indian express newsThe court has said that it had interviewed the parents and had gone through the evidence in record. (Representational)

A Mumbai Sessions Court that last month allowed a Delhi-based couple to adopt a child they were booked for allegedly purchasing, in its detailed order, which was made available on Monday, has said there is no evidence to show that the couple had sought to adopt the boy with any ulterior motive or bad intention.

The court had last month allowed five couples, who were booked by the Mumbai Police last year during the probe of an inter-state child trafficking racket, to adopt the children who were rescued by the police.

The court has said that it had interviewed the parents and had gone through the evidence in record. In the case of the Delhi-based couple, who have been given the custody of a four-year-old boy, the court said the boy had been staying with the couple since he was nine days old and had developed a strong attachment with them.

“I prima facie find that the petitioners are highly motivated and have a strong attachment to the child who was in their custody since he was nine days old. The petitioners (the couple) have stated in one voice that they have a lot of love and affection for the child…” the court said in its order.

It also took into consideration the financial status of the couple and that they had enrolled the boy in a pre-school and to ensure proper education is imparted to him. The court said that the welfare of the child “must be the paramount consideration”, and so it had decided to grant the couple his custody.

The Mumbai police had last year busted a racket claiming that six children in the age group of 18 months and seven years had been illegally purchased by couples. The police claimed that the children — all male belonging to poor parents — were sold through a nexus of surrogate mothers, hospital staff, IVF centre employees to families looking to adopt children. The couples, through their lawyer Siddharth Jagushte, had claimed that they were made to believe by the co-accused that they were adopting the children through proper channels and denied that they had purchased them. Since their rescue, the six children were lodged in an adoption home in Mumbai.

The Child Welfare Committee (CWC) had denied the couples custody of the children stating that there was a criminal offense pending against them.

“It is important to mention here that the CWC has not adduced any evidence against the petitioners to show that they are not entitled to claim the custody of the child,” the court said, adding that it had not taken into consideration the pending FIR against the couple.

A writ petition seeking quashing of the FIR filed by the couple is pending before the Bombay High Court. The court also said it was for the concerned trial court before whom the case is pending and the chargesheet was filed to decide on the case without getting influenced by the adoption petition.

The court passed similar orders in the case of four other children. In one case, the biological mother of the child has also sought his custody. The proceedings are pending.

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