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U/s 80 of the Juvenile Justice Act, directly adopting a child from the biological parents will not be an offence: Karnataka High Court

The Karnataka High Court on 7th April 2022 ruled that without a declaration that a child has been abandoned by his birth or adoptive parents or guardians, filing a chargesheet under Section 80 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection Of Children) Act 2015 is invalid., through the single bench of Justice Hemant Chandangoudar in the case of Banu Begum w/o Khajasab alias Mehaboobsab & others vs State of Karnataka (Criminal Petition No. 1000659 of 2021).

 

FACTS OF THE CASE:

According to the facts of the case, the prosecution contended that accused No.3 adopted the daughter born to accused Nos.1 and 2 without following the provisions or procedures provided by the Act, therefore committing the offence punishable under Section 80 of the Act. The Magistrate took note of the offence and summoned the petitioners in this case. Following that, the four accused moved to the High Court.

The petitioners contended that the child alleged to have been taken into adoption by accused No.3 is not an orphan, abandoned, or surrendered child, as defined by Section 80 of the Act. As a result, the charge sheet filed against the petitioners – accused is devoid of any substance.

JUDGEMENT:

The bench observed at the commencement that a person is said to have committed an offence if he or she adopts an orphan, abandoned, or surrendered child without following the laws or procedures outlined in the Act.

Nevertheless, in this case, the child was not an abandoned, orphaned, or surrendered child as described by Sections 2(1), 2(42), and 2(60) of the Act. Thus, in the absence of a declaration that the child has been abandoned by his birth or adoptive parents or guardians, the filing of the charge sheet is irrelevant.

Accordingly, the proceedings against the petitioners were quashed and the criminal petition was allowed.

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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY NIDHI KUMAR

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