Adoption rights for Muslims
In a small but significant step towards ensuring a uniform civil code in India (a goal enshrined by Article 44 of the constitution), a bench of Chief Justice P Sathasivam and Justice Ranjan Gogoi and SK Singh has ruled that Muslims can now adopt children under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, despite their personal law debarring them from doing so. However, they may also choose to abide by their personal law.
The judgment came in the wake of a public interest litigation filed by Shabnam Hashmi who, nine years ago, wanted to adopt a child, but the personal law of her community held her back. She had approached the apex court to seek uniform guidelines for adoption applicable to all communities.
The bench further noted that the provisions of the Act were applicable for all religions and communities and were not restricted by religious beliefs. However, the clerics have put a spanner that the adopted child cannot inherit property, and that the women of the household will do a purdah with him.