FPJ Legal: Mumbai court denies custody of minor accused in drug peddling to mother as she had denied relation earlier

A special court designated under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act last Friday denied custody of a 17-year-old girl caught in possession of Mephedrone to a woman who claimed to be her mother, considering that she had earlier denied their relationship before the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB).

The woman had approached the court in an appeal against the decision of the Principal Magistrate, City Juvenile Justice Board, Dongri by an order of 22 April. While rejecting the bail plea of the minor, the magistrate had done so on the grounds that the minor was living with her mother as she did not have a father and that the mother had earlier claimed that the minor was not her daughter. It had also noted that the child in conflict with law is addicted to drugs and engaged in drug peddling.

Special Judge MG Deshpande said that prima facie facts indicate the minor and her co-accused are peddlars and that the former is at the verge of attaining majority. It also noted that the Mephedrone found in her possession is of commercial quantity.

The court while declining to interfere in the decision of the JJB said that the board had clearly observed that the appellant had denied the relationship with the juvenile in conflict with law, but had subsequently filed some papers. It said that her denial earlier cannot be ignored. It stated further that such a daughter needs utmost care and protection and that the appellant prime facie does not fulfil this aspect. If she is allowed custody with the appellant, it said, there is every possibility of the minor going into the vicious circle where she was trapped earlier. It further noted that the incident had taken place when the minor was with her.

The minor was arrested on 28 March by the Narcotics Control Bureau along with another person after receiving specific information. The minor was found in possession of 54 gm of Mephedrone and sent to Dongri observation home as she was a minor at the time of arrest.

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