Kochi: A division bench of the Kerala High Court has ruled that a child born in a living-together relationship has the same rights as a child in a married relationship. A landmark judgment of a division bench comprising Justices A Mohammad Mushtaq and Kauser Edappagath overturned the decision to hand over the child to the Child Welfare Committee and later allow the adoption of another couple at the time of abandonment by the man living with them.
The court also directed the state government to formulate a special scheme to protect such isolated persons in the society. In 2018, a child was born to a young woman and a young man who decided to live together during the floods. The family did not agree to the marriage and the delivery took place at a government hospital. The baby’s father’s name was also given in the hospital records. The young man then broke away from the relationship. I was going to Karnataka to act in a movie. The child, who was handed over by the mother to the Child Welfare Committee, was adopted by another couple with the permission of the family court after completing the formalities. The court ruled that the adoption was legal, although the returning father had filed a habeas corpus petition to have the child released.
However, the court decided to review the actions of the Child Welfare Committee. The law stipulates that the father of children born in cases involving rape and sexual offenses must be identified. The court ruled that the child welfare committee has an obligation to take into account the consent of the father as the mother is a child voluntarily handed over. The court therefore directed that the child be returned to the father and mother. The court also said that a child born out of wedlock is entitled to it.
The court quoted Manusmriti as saying that the glory of motherhood was invaluable and that the glory of motherhood should be recognized in this country where goddesses are worshiped. The government has a responsibility to protect single mothers. The court ruled that the mother had to abandon the child due to social circumstances and could not ignore the value and dignity of motherhood.
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