Bombay High Court | In a petition filed challenging the vires of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Act, 2021 to the extent that the word ‘Court' is replaced with ‘District Magistrate', a Division Bench of G S Patel and S G Dige, JJ., granted interim relief by staying the change of exclusive jurisdiction over all adoptions including foreign adoptions from Courts to District Magistrate.

The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Act, 2021 has brought amendment to the extent that the word ‘Court' is replaced with ‘District Magistrate'. The effect of this amendment as alleged is that exclusive jurisdiction over all adoptions including foreign adoptions will now be with the District Magistrates which earlier vested with the judges of the High Court.

The Court noted that there has not been any complaint about the handling of the cases by the judges and the justification for the amendment was yet to be seen. While considering ad-interim relief, the Court must bear in mind the interests of the minors who are put up for adoption and the interests of the adopted parents.

The Court remarked that presently, the adoptions are being handled by Single Judges of the Court and this has continued for a very long period, and nothing is shown to us to indicate why for a limited period of about four weeks this should not be continued until the challenge is finally heard.

Thus, the Court granted the interim relief until the next date i.e., 14-02-2022 and not indefinitely for a long period of time as no prejudice will be caused to any party if the existing system continues and the primary interest would be protected.

[Nisha Pradeep Pandya v. Union of India, 2023 SCC OnLine Bom 90, decided on 10-01-2023]


Advocates who appeared in this case :

Mr Cyrus Ardeshir, Ooril Panchal, Ziyad Madon & Danish Qureshi, i/b Mahimtura & Co, for the Applicant. Mr Vishal Kanade, with Tanaya Patankar, i/b Sameer K Sawant & Rakesh Kapoor & Co, for the Petitioners;

Mr Sandesh D Patil, i/b Anusha P Amin, for Respondent 1;

Mrs Jyoti Chavan, AGP, for the Respondent-State.


*Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief

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