Spread the love

The Bombay High Court stated on Friday that a January 10 stay order in a pending challenge to an amendment to the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Act 2021 (JJ Act) had not suspended the current adoption proceedings of children. [Nisha Pradeep Pandya alias Nisha Amit Gor & Anr versus Union of India & Ors]

The challenged amendment affords District Magistrates sole authority over adoption issues, including overseas adoptions.

Prior to the amendment, adoption issues were handled in civil courts.

On January 10, a bench led by Justice GS Patel stopped the scheduled transfer of case papers/documents relevant to adoption proceedings from civil courts to District Magistrates.

However, the Indian Express further reported that final adoption orders for many Prospective Adoptive Parents (PAPs) and the adoption process in such instances had been halted in Maharashtra since January 11, after the Court’s stay decision.

To remedy this, the Court stated on Friday that its ruling from January 10 did not stop adoptions. The bench said that the Court has instead just suspended the transfer of those matters to the District Magistrates. [1]

There is a misunderstanding that we have ceased accepting adoptions from abroad. We’ll explain this. Up until we make a decision about the issue (Constitutional challenge), there is no question that all new or current adoption cases will be moved to the District Magistrate. Adoptions continue unabated. They will carry on just as they did before to the JJ Act’s modification. Civil courts must continue to handle adoption cases up to this one’s ultimate resolution on July 7. Any documents delivered to the District Magistrates must be returned to the district judges or courts, the court said.

The Court additionally ordered that until the High Court makes a decision regarding the ongoing petition against the change to the JJ Act, all case materials be returned from District Magistrates to the relevant civil courts.

A writ petition had been submitted to the High Court asking for a stay on a notification dated September 30, 2022 ordering the transfer of all adoption matters to District Magistrates.

On January 10, the Court effectively froze the effects of this September communication and ordered that District Magistrates should not be tasked with handling pending adoption cases now pending before courts.

It also instructed the courts to continue adjudicating the adoption cases that are currently on record and in their files.

But according to the Indian Express article, between September 2022 and January 10, 2023, all adoption cases were transferred to the District Magistrate as a result of the letter. While this was happening, the District Magistrates were delaying taking action on these case documents due to the High Court’s stay. As a result, it was claimed that each of these cases was pending.

The High Court will next hear arguments over the JJ Act change on July 7, 2023. [2]

Written by- Himanshu Mishra, a student at St. Mother Teresa Law Degree College, Lucknow, 2nd Semester, an intern under Legal Vidhiya.


[1] BAR AND BENCH, https://www.barandbench.com/news/litigation/not-stopped-adoptions-bombay-high-court-clarifies-jj-act-amendment (last visited on June 17, 2023);


Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *