Mumbai: Court denies teen’s custody to ‘mother’ over past disowning

A special court under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, last Friday, refused to hand over the custody of a 17-year-old girl to a woman who claimed to be her mother. The court took this decision considering that the woman had earlier denied their relationship before the Juvenile Justice Board. The girl was caught for possessing mephedrone.

The woman had approached the court with an appeal against the decision of the principal magistrate of the Juvenile Justice Board in Dongri passed on April 22. While rejecting the bail plea, the magistrate said that the minor was living with her mother as she did not have a father. However, her mother had earlier claimed that the minor was not her daughter. It had also noted that the child in conflict with law, is a drug addict and is engaged in drug peddling.

Special judge M G Deshpande said that prima facie facts indicate that the minor and her co-accused are peddlers 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 Juvenile Justice Board said that the board had clearly observed that the appellant had denied the relationship with the minor, but had subsequently filed some papers. It said that her denial earlier cannot be ignored. It further stated that such a daughter needs utmost care and protection and that the appellant prime facie does not fulfill this aspect. If she is allowed custody with the appellant, it said, there is every possibility that the minor will enter into the vicious circle again. It further noted that the incident had taken place when the minor was with her. The minor was arrested with another person on 28 March by the Narcotics Control Bureau.

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