Allahabad High Court imposes five lakh fine on Nari Niketan, Kanpur.

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Rajesh Kumar Pandey

Allahabad: The Allahabad High Court has imposed a cost of Rs. 5 lakhs on the Nari Niketan/Child Welfare Committee (CWC), Kanpur Nagar for its ‘shocking’ decision to send a 15-year-old girl, who was residing with her mother, to a children’s home.

The court directed that the amount be handed over to the girl’s father and be used in the minor girls upbringing.

A division bench comprising Justice Arvind Singh Sangwan and Justice Ram Manohar Narayan Mishra, while describing the committee’s actions as ‘shocking’ and ‘surprising’, directed that if the committee does not pay the cost, the Commissioner of Police, Kanpur Nagar will ensure that the chairman of the CWC remains present in the court on the next hearing i.e. May 23.

The division bench passed this order on a habeas corpus plea moved by the minor girl’s mother seeking the production of her daughter, who was sent to the children’s home at the instance of the CWC, Kanpur Nagar.

The petitioner’s mother, in her plea, claimed that the minor girl, around 15 years old, was residing with her. However, her father lodged an FIR alleging that her daughter had been enticed away by two persons.

A probe in the said FIR revealed no one enticed the girl away. Rather, she was in the custody of her mother, who is second petitioner in this case. Therefore, the magistrate submitted a report recommending proceedings under Section 182 (offence of giving false information) IPC against the father of the minor girl.

Hearing the matter earlier this month, the court sought to determine under what circumstances the CWC, Kanpur had passed such an order sending the girl to the Nari Niketan. The court summoned the authorised representative of the Child Welfare Committee to appear before the court. The girl was also ordered to be produced before the court on April 22.

However, pursuant to the court’s order, the minor girl was produced before the court, stating that she was about 15 years old and studying in class seventh. However, for the last three months, she has been lodged in Nari Niketan/CWC, Kanpur Nagar, and she could not appear in the class seventh examination and has lost her academic year.

The court noted that her consistent stand, even after meeting with her mother, was that she wanted to stay with her father.

However, the court in its order dated April 22 expressed its shock at the decision of the CWC to place the minor child in a government children’s home (women) by observing, “The most surprising and shocking part is the manner in which, the Nari Niketan/CWC, Kanpur Nagar had kept the minor child in government children home (women) which is a place where normally such type of children whose parents are eager to claim the custody of child, are not kept, as the father admittedly is capable of taking care of the minor daughter.

 

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