The Madras High Court Wednesday quashed a child trafficking case against a woman, who in 2017 adopted an abandoned newborn without adhering to rules, observing that she was driven only by the craving and desperation to have a child.
While taking a sympathetic view, the court, however, said the quashing of the case should not be treated as a precedent in any other case.
Allowing the petition by Helen Anitha of Kanyakumari district, Justice N Anand Venkatesh observed that the child was being brought up with love and affection and had developed attachment to the foster parents.
By no stretch of imagination were the petitioners said to be exploiting the child and hence the adoption could not be termed child trafficking, he noted.
Helen and her husband were ignorant of the laws governing adoption, and were driven only by the craving and desperation in her heart to have a baby, the judge said.
Justice Venkatesh then directed the District Child Welfare Committee to make periodical visits to Helen's house and apprise itself of the prevailing situation, till the child reached age of five.
This arrangement is made only to ensure the welfare of the child, the judge said, adding the quashing of the FIR, registered by the Kanyakumari district police, should not be treated as a precedent in any other case.
During the hearing, Helen submitted that she had adopted an abandoned child with the help of Girija, a nurse and claimed that she had not handed the child over to the District Child Protection Officer (DCPO) as she was ignorant of the law.
Girija had arranged for a fake birth certificate, which showed Helen as the child's biological mother. Helen named the child Aaron New Bright and had him baptised.
Meanwhile, an anonymous complaint was lodged with the DCPO, following which a case was registered and the child was taken away from Helen by the Child Welfare Officer(CWO). As the baby stopped consuming food and was profusely crying, the CWO was forced to return the child to the woman.
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