3 Sep 2021 4:24 AM GMT
The Jammu and Kashmir High Court is hearing a matter relating to a 24-days-old missing girl child, abducted by her own father and grand-parents, against the wishes of her mother. The Petitioner, i.e., the mother, apprehends that the infant will be killed by her in-laws who are reportedly absconding.Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey has expressed the importance of the mother in the life of...
The Jammu and Kashmir High Court is hearing a matter relating to a 24-days-old missing girl child, abducted by her own father and grand-parents, against the wishes of her mother. The Petitioner, i.e., the mother, apprehends that the infant will be killed by her in-laws who are reportedly absconding.
Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey has expressed the importance of the mother in the life of a suckling-baby and has taken a strong note on the non-responsive conduct of the father and his family, who failed to produce the infant before the Court despite clear directions.
On Tuesday, the Court had directed the recovery of the female child using all means, giving a detailed 9-point direction to ensure the health and safety of the girl-child.
On Wednesday, it was informed to the Court that despite several attempts and raids at suspicious locations, the baby could not be found. Along with the baby, her father and paternal grandmother also could not be located. In a contempt petition before the Court, the mother has expressed apprehension that the baby has been killed.
In this regard the Court noted that the private respondents' conduct only aggravates the excesses allegedly committed by them and lends support to what the petitioner has averred in the petition about the treatment meted out to her and her child. He further added,
"Their conduct axiomatically has been instrumental in prolonging the suffering of the child and agony of the petitioner. Nonetheless, the Court is not powerless. The conduct of the private respondents is also likely to bring others into the dragnet of abetment of the crime."
The Single Judge further directed the Police to accelerate their efforts to search for and recover the baby. He directed the Superintendent of Police to approach the Director General of Police/Inspector General of Police for making available such electronic and/or technical help as may help trace out the location of the child and the hiding private respondents.
The petition has been filed by a mother through Advocate Areeb Javid Kawoosa, seeking to recover her 24-day-old suckling female child from the father and his family. She also seeks the protection of the fundamental rights of the baby, including but not limited to her right to food. The petition prays to register an FIR against the father and his family members under various provisions of the IPC including offences of wrongful confinement, assault, kidnapping, and criminal intimidation.
It is the petitioner's case that despite the doctor's advice to undergo a Caesarean-section delivery at the time of delivery of the baby girl, her husband insisted she undergoes 'natural delivery.' He also allegedly deserted the Petitioner in the last month of her pregnancy. On the birth of the female child, the husband first threatened to take away the newborn and later, snatched the suckling baby from her arms and illegally confined her in a room.
For three days, the Petitioner alleged that she was allowed to breastfeed the infant on only three occasions. From the fourth day onwards, the child went missing.
On August 27, 2021 when the matter was heard, the respondents were present in person, and the Court ordered the Registrar Judicial to take custody of the infant in the presence of the petitioner-mother and hand her over to the mother. However, as per the note submitted by the Registrar Judicial, the respondents have not surrendered the infant, failing to comply with the directions of the Court.
On the non-production of the child by the respondents, the Court took serious note of the situation and issued 9-point directions to effectuate the safe recovery of the child. He directed to recover the girl child by recording conditions of recovery by fulfilling all legal formalities and ensuring availability of doctors for thorough medical check up.
Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey had also observed that the child is being deprived of her mother's milk, care, and bondage for the last 20 days.
Emphasizing the need for breast milk in the developing age, the Court remarked,
"There is no denying the fact that breast milk is a natural and perfect mix of almost all vitamins, proteins, and fats, meaning everything a baby needs for proper growth, besides being easily digested by babies than artificially prepared infant formulas or cows' milk. It also contains antibodies that help the suckling babies fight off viruses and bacteria, and breastfeeding lowers the babies' risk of catching infections and allergies."
The judge also added that breastfeeding results in a higher intelligence quotient in later childhood and developing a bond with the mothers cultivating the feeling of being secure. It further added,
"It is thus imaginable to what loss the female infant child of the petitioner has so far been put to physically, mentally and otherwise, and to what pain and agony the mother of the petitioner has been put."
Following continuous non-compliance by the Respondents, the High Court on Wednesday ordered:
"Police is directed to accelerate their efforts to search for and recover the baby in tune with the spirit of the anxiety of the Court expressed in the directions passed by this Court. The Superintendent of Police, East Zone, Srinagar, present in the Court, if required, shall be free to approach the Director General of Police/Inspector General of Police, Kashmir Range, for making available such electronic and/or technical help as may be helpful in tracing out the location of the child and the hiding private respondents. This may include coordinating the Cyber Crime Police in the process."
The matter will be heard again today, at 2.30 pm.
Case Title: Mahrukh Iqbal v. Union Territory of JK and Ors.
Click Here To Download The Order
Read The Order