SC notice to Centre on uniform law for adoption

SC notice to Centre on gender and religion-neutral uniform law for adoption, guardianship

The petitioner said Muslims, Christians and Parsis don’t have adoption laws even after 73 years of independence and 71 years of India becoming a democratic republic

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The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to the Centre on a PIL for gender and religion-neutral uniform law of adoption and guardianship for all citizens.

A bench presided over by Chief Justice S A Bobde sought a response from the Union government on a plea by BJP leader and advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay.

He sought the court's direction to remove anomalies in the grounds of adoption and guardianship and make them uniform for all citizens without discrimination on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth in spirit of Articles 14, 15, 21, 44 of the Constitution and international conventions. Senior Advocates Anjana Prakash and Geeta Luthra appeared for him.

The petitioner said Muslims, Christians and Parsis don’t have adoption laws even after 73 years of independence and 71 years of India becoming a democratic republic.

"Due to lack of common law for all, Muslims, Christians, Parsis approach the court under the Guardians and Wards Act 1890. Muslims, Christians and Parsis can take a child under the said Act only under foster care. Once such a child becomes major, he can break away all his relations," his plea said.

Moreover, such a child doesn’t have legal right of inheritance, which creates lot of hardship and confusion among citizens. This can very easily be solved by having uniform law of adoption and guardianship for all citizens, it claimed.

The petitioner further pointed out adoption in Hindus is governed by the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act and guardianship by the Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act. However, both laws are not gender-neutral and discriminatory provisions are applicable to Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, Sikhs, he said.