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An order passed by the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) cannot be examined in a Habeas Corpus plea: Rajasthan High Court

The High Court of Rajasthan, through learned judge, Justice Vinit Kumar Mathur in the case Naresh Kumar v. State of Rajasthan and Others (D.B. Habeas Corpus Petition No. 18/2022) held that an order passed by the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) cannot be examined in a Habeas Corpus plea.

BRIEF FACTS OF THE CASE: The habeas corpus petition was filed by the petitioner seeking a direction for production of one Mst. ‘P’ in this Court claiming that she was his legally wedded wife and that she had been wrongfully confined. A perusal of the documents available on record indicated that the date of birth of Mst. ‘P’, as per her Secondary School Marksheet, was 05.06.2006 and thus, she was minor as on date. The corpus was presented before the Child Welfare Committee and after considering her statement and taking note of the apprehension expressed by the girl, her custody was restored to her father. The Committee directed the Superintendent of Police, Barmer to ensure the safety of the child and to provide her protection. The Superintendent of Police, Barmer has also issued a letter of compliance. As the child continued to convey apprehensions regarding her safety and well being, the Committee, Barmer, by order directed the Superintendent of Police, Barmer to send Mst. ‘P’ to the Balika Gruh, Jodhpur. 

JUDGEMENT: The court held that the validity of an order passed by the Child Welfare Committee under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 cannot be examined in a writ of habeas corpus. The court further remarked that, as the corpus had been sent to the Balika Gruh, Jodhpur under a valid order of the Child Welfare Committee in terms of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, she was not under any kind of illegal confinement. The court dismissed the petition by stating that as the date of birth of the corpus recorded in her school documents is 05.06.2006, she being a minor, no one other than her parents can stake a claim for her custody.

JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY – AMRUTHA K

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