The twenty first Law Commission has released its first report titled, “The Protection of Children (Inter-Country Removal and Retention) Bill, 2016.”
The report addresses the issue of ‘International Parental Child Abduction,’ examining in depth the provisions of the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction Bill, 2016. It has prepared a comparative statement showing the provisions of the said Bill, and has introduced modifications in the form of another Bill titled, The Protection of Children (Inter-Country Removal and Retention) Bill, 2016.
It recognizes the issue of inter-spousal child removal on breakdown of diverse family units, in a situation where children are abducted by their own parents to India or to other foreign jurisdictions, in violation of interim/final orders of competent Courts.
At the outset, the report relies on the principle of ‘best interests of the child’, as invoked by the Hague Convention, 1980 and the International Child Abduction Bill.
Further, referring to various judicial pronouncements, it notes that it has been repeatedly held by Courts that repatriation of the child to the foreign land should not (a) cause any moral, physical, social, cultural or psychological harm to the child; (b) cause any legal harm to the parent with whom the child is in India; (c) violate the fundamental principles of human rights and freedoms of the receiving country, i.e., where the child is being held and; (d) considering the child welfare principle, due importance must be given to the primary care-giver of the child.
Salient features of the Bill drafted by the Government of India:
Salient features of the LCI Bill: