Shahin Ahmad v. State of UP [Citation: SLP(C) No. 014027/2023]
On Tuesday, October 3rd, the Supreme Court issued an order directing the Child Welfare Committee to reexamine the issue of releasing the minor sons of murdered gangster-politician Atiq Ahmad in light of the support person’s report, which revealed that they do not wish to remain in the childcare facility.
The National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development’s retired Deputy Director, Dr. K.C. George, was designated by the court on August 18, 2023, as a support person to ascertain and document the children’s preferences. He engaged with the kids and wrote a thorough report, which was sent to the court on August 28, 2023. The minor children are currently live at a Prayagraj childcare facility.
The Court stated that by order in these proceedings, the Court has evaluated the report of the expert/support person. The state has been given the order to make sure the two children’s applications to appear in the re-examinations are filled out right away in the interest of justice and the two concerned youngsters. Given that one of the kids, Ahzam Ahmed, will turn 18 tomorrow, and that the expert’s assessment generally indicates that the kids don’t want to live at the childcare facility, he cannot be forced to live there. Following that, the welfare committee is instructed to reevaluate the situation in light of this and give a reasoned order within a week.
It is important to remember that Section 97 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 regulates the discharge of children detained in Children’s Homes or Child Protection Homes.
It stated that “97. Release of a child from an institution.-(1) When a child is kept in a Children’s Home or special home, on a report of a probation officer or social worker or of Government or a voluntary or non- governmental organisation, as the case may be, the Committee or the Board may consider, the release of such child, either absolutely or on such conditions as it may think fit to impose, permitting the child to live with parents or guardian or under the supervision of any authorised person named in the order, willing to receive and take charge, educate and train the child, for some useful trade or calling or to look after the child for rehabilitation.”
Shahin Ahmad, Atiq Ahmad’s sister, filed a Special Leave Petition asking for custody of the minor children. The petition was being heard by the bench made up of Justices S. Ravindra Bhat and Justice Aravind Kumar. The Child Protection Home Rajrooppur, located at Noorullah Road, Khuldabad, Prayagraj, has taken in both of the youngsters, who are roughly 17 and 15 years old, under its care and protection.
Shahin’s habeas corpus petition had already been rejected by the Allahabad High Court.
The Allahabad High Court remarked that Shaista Parveen, the mother of the children, is still alive. This led the court to rule that “once the mother of the two minor children is alive and the petitioner has neither claimed herself to be the guardian nor has placed any material on record to establish that she is the guardian, therefore, we do not find any good reason to issue any direction for release of the aforesaid two minor children to the petitioner”