Apex Court observes that children are 'supremely important national asset'
Two couples, Indian citizens, professing the Christian faith, applied to this Court for being appointed as guardians under the Guardians & Wards Act. In the course of the proceedings they amended their petition, to seek a prayer that the children are given to them in adoption. The petitioners being Christians are presently only entitled to be appointed as guardians. They do not fall within the definition of "Hindu" as defined in the Hindu Adoption & Maintenance Act, 1956. Some of the issues are:
- Does an abandoned or orphaned or destitute child has a right to a family, a name and nationality as a part of the right to life?
- Is the right of being adopted a fundamental right guaranteed to a child by Article 21 of the Constitution?
- Can the State deny to an orphaned, abandoned or destitute child the right to be adopted because of its constitutional failure to enact legislation to give effect to Entry 5 of List III of the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution of India
- Whether a married childless couple has the fundamental right to adopt a child?
- Is adoption purely a part of personal law?
- If the right to adopt is a fundamental right, can Civil Courts enforce this right, in the absence of legislation and/or administrative instructions having the force of law?
- Can this Court in exercise of the power conferred on it under Clause 17 of the Amended Letters Patent give a child in adoption?