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2-min read

No Need to Repeal Hindu Adoption Act, Says Central Adoption Resource Authority

Chief Executive Officer of CARA, Lt Col Deepak Kumar said, “There was no problem with the personal law legislation but it needs stricter monitoring mechanism to avoid child trafficking and other such related cases.”

Debayan Roy | News18.com

Updated:November 7, 2017, 11:10 AM IST
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No Need to Repeal Hindu Adoption Act, Says Central Adoption Resource Authority
Picture for representation. (Getty Images)

New Delhi: The Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) has said that there was no need to repeal personal law regarding adoption among Hindus as the “object and purpose” of the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act (HAMA) and Juvenile Justice (JJ) Act is different.

Chief Executive Officer of CARA, Lt Col Deepak Kumar said, “There was no problem with the personal law legislation but it needs stricter monitoring mechanism to avoid child trafficking and other such related cases.”

“Hindu mythology talked about 'beta ho gaya toh vansh ko aage badhayega (If a boy is born, he’ll take forward the lineage)'. The act gives parents an opportunity of a lineage. This does not mean that the act should be repealed. If one is a Hindu and wants to give up their child for adoption, then relying on this act is fine. The problem comes, when a middleman enters the picture. Children are sold off and trafficked. The problem is implementation and not the law,” said Kumar.

The CEO’s statement comes close on the heels of reports that the Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) is mulling over a proposal to initiate amendments in HAMA. The move is being mulled to repeal the adoption provisions under the Hindu law as it works parallel to the JJ act, which was a common law.

“This is a red alert for the ministry. There cannot be two parallel systems, as it makes it very difficult to check instances of child trafficking. The adoption provisions under HAMA need to be repealed so that adoptions happen only through the JJ Act. We will be moving a proposal to that effect before the Cabinet soon,” said the report which quoted WCD Minister, Maneka Gandhi.

Kumar stated that since the purpose of both legislation was different, there was no scope of repealing adoptions under HAMA.

“The object, purpose of HAMA is different from the JJ Act. There is only one personal law under which adoption takes place and that continues to be. The personal law essentially mandates what a particular community wants,” he told News18, before adding that HAMA was a ‘parent-centric legislation’ whereas JJ Act was a ‘children welfare’ centric legislation.

The CARA chief, though, noted that people were exploiting HAMA for nefarious reasons. “All these trafficking cases have one thing in common, which is that people have made a deed using HAMA. This cannot be the case as there needs to be a Hindu giver and a Hindu taker under HAMA. No money can be transacted. The deeds are not even notarised, then how can it be legal?” said Kumar.

He reiterated that repealing the personal law is not an option when the fault lies in proper implementation. “Monitoring is an essential part of any administrative action. There is no position to repeal the adoption provision under the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act. The fact that a middleman comes into the picture is what needs to be eliminated. Hence, HAMA is not the issue,” Kumar said.

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| Edited by: Aditya Nair
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