Kar HC | Mentally disabled child referred to Child Welfare Committee where family members were not capable of taking care of him

Karnataka High Court: The Division Bench of K.N. Phaneendra and K. Natarajan, JJ. allowed a habeas corpus petition filed by the maternal grandfather of a child and gave directions for care and protection of the child. 

The instant petition was filed to produce the petitioner’s grandson aged 14 years (detenue) before Court who was in the custody of a police officer. The child was suffering from mild mental retardation and his mental disability was assessed at 50 per cent. It was submitted by the petitioner that he was unemployed, his son was a mason, and his daughter (mother of the child) was also not keeping sound mental health. Therefore, he had no objection to the Court passing an appropriate order regarding care and protection of the child.

It was submitted before Court that under provisions of Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Child) Act, 2015 a child may be referred to Child Welfare Committee (CWC) for taking appropriate measures to keep him in any of the recognized institutions which can take care of his physical and mental health.

The Court opined that provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act are contemplated mainly to safeguard the interest with reference to taking care of and protecting the welfare of children. In view of the fact that grandfather and mother of the detenue were not capable of taking care of the detenue, the Court disposed of the petition directing the police to send detenue to CWC for proper care and protection.[Joseph v. State of Karnataka, 2019 SCC OnLine Kar 422, Order dated 18-02-2019]

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