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Uniform Civil Code: Although SC allows it, still there are glitches
Hindu Personal law allows adoption for Hindus and this is also applicable to Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains. As per this law, there is certain specification for adopting a child. Such specification includes permission of spouse; the adoptee must be of the same religion etc. Also unmarried people above age of 21 years can adopt opposite sex kid.

The only barrier is that you can't adopt a son, if you have a biological son. Similarly you can't adopt a daughter if you have biological daughter. Similarly the adoptee must be under 16 years of age and unmarried but when custom provides this condition is not required.

This means if a Hindu (also Sikh, Buddhist, and Jain) adopts a person outside him family lineage, the adoptee must be unmarried and less than 16 year of age. But to adopt, sister's son, brother's son or from such close family relation, this condition is not required. As per Hindu code the adopted child also inherits the property of his foster parent.

Muslim, Christian, Parsis and even Jews don't have an adoption law at all. To adopt they have to approach the court under the guardian and Wards act, 1890.  As per this act, they can at best be a foster guardian till the adoptee attains majority. Then the adoptee is free to break away. Also the adoptee has no right on property inheritance.

On 19th February 2014, the Supremee Court passed a land mark judgment while hearing social activist Shabnam Hasmi's petition that any person can adopt a child under Juvenile Justice (Care and protection) Act 2000 irrespective of the religion he or she follows and even if the personal laws of the particular religion doesn't permit it.

"The JJ Act 2000 is a secular law enabling any person, irrespective of the religion he professes, to take a child in adoption. It is akin to the Special Marriage Act 1954, which enables any person living in India to get married under that Act, irrespective of the religion he follows. Personal beliefs and faiths, though must be honoured, cannot dictate the operation of the provisions of an enabling statute," ruled the bench headed by Chief Justice P. Sathasivam. 

The court, however, turned down the plea for declaring the right of a child to be adopted and right of a parent to adopt a fundamental right under the Constitution saying that such an order cannot be passed at this stage in view of conflicting practices and beliefs. 

However this in fact paved way for people from communities of Muslim, Christians, Parsis to adopt a child, which was not possible earlier (except being foster guardians). All other communities except AIMPLB (All India Muslim personal law Board) expressed satisfaction on this verdict.

AIMPLB however registered a protest against the PIL terming it a covert attempt to slip in a uniform code by the backdoor which would infringe the Shariat law, reported Daily Mail.

Point is what would happen to a Muslim orphan? Is it because shariat doesn't permit, he can't be adopted despite being at par Indian? Adoption always must be legal. As religion is a personal aspect thus Muslims even though can adopt as per the JJ Act 2000 post this verdict legality still would be very complicated unless personal law has the provision. The Muslim personal law doesn't have adoption law, thus even if someone is adopted as per JJ act 2000 he would face lot of problem inheriting the property.

My opinion that every child irrespective of its religion must have fundamental right to be adopted as well as every parent irrespective of their religion should have fundamental right to adopt. In a democracy faith is to be respected but when it contradicts fundamental and constitutional right, the Constitution must prevail.

Thus is a case for Uniform Civil Code from adoption aspect.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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Sankara Narayanan
In very many Islamic nations progressive laws concerning marriage, divorce and woman rights were enacted. Pak is also one such. Same type of changes in India are objected on the ground that they are infringing Sharia or Muslim Personal Law. Do they have different Sharia or Personal Law? Chaining women is common for all religions. But Islam stands out in this shameful act. Yesterday in a FB posting, a Muslim gentleman had abused those parents who allowed their daughters to move around in Chennai without a dupatta. In which age are these guys living? Why do men dictate how a woman should dress, play, study, marry etc? Are women just gudias incapable of deciding their destiny? A matching 7th century from a Saffron brigade - a very successful senior lawyer from Coimbatore in TN - took pains to oppose an inter-caste marriage as the girl's parents did not approve of that, though the girl was an adult. ''A girl of 18 yrs should wait till she becomes 21 yr old to marry that boy because she is incapable of deciding which is right & wrong,'' was another stupid discourse from that lawyer. A panelist lady asked why this rule is not applicable if the couple are from same caste. She also asked how about girls who are forced to marry before attaining the age of 18. A young lady lawyer questioned the crackpot lawyer, "Are you aware we are in a democracy and there is a constitution?'' Unless women come out to demand their due rights, men in general and religious contractors in particular will never allow their slaves to go free.
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