Writ Of Habeas Corpus Not Maintainable Against Judicial Order Of Magistrate /CWC Sending Minor Victim To Children Protection Homes:Allahabad High Court
A Full Bench of the Allahabad High Court ruled on Monday that a writ of habeas corpus cannot be used to appeal or overturn an order issued by a Judicial Magistrate or a Child Welfare Committee sending victims to women security homes or child care homes. The Bench went on to say that the detention of a corpus in such child care homes should not be considered an unconstitutional detention. A full bench of Justice Siddhartha Varma, Justice Mahesh Chandra Tripathi, and Justice Sanjay Yadav was hearing the reference in a habeas corpus petition seeking directions on the Superintendent of Children Home (Women) to release Anchal, a minor girl who was allegedly unlawfully detained in the Children Home.
After hearing both sides, the bench felt it was appropriate to make some observations on ancillary issues, in addition to the key issues framed, dealing with cases of minor girls elopement and their rehabilitation, after which they are sent to Children Homes. The Bench noted that the number of habeas corpus petitions filed by parents/guardians or suspected husbands for the creation of their wards or wives who leave their parental homes in "Run away Marriages" has increased, and that such parents are in anguish while the couples are on the run, with the husband being accused of abduction and/or rape. The Court noted that the Juvenile Justice Act is a pro-child statute that provides for all remedial steps of rehabilitation and treatment to a child in need of care and security when reviewing different aspects of the Act. The Court did clarify, however, that in situations where the corpus is arbitrarily sent to children's homes, the condition may be investigated through an appeal or revision.
In addition to concluding that the writ of habeas corpus cannot be maintained against a judicial order or an order issued by the Child Welfare Committee under the Act, the Court noted that the corpus in this case was 17 years old according to the High School Certificate, and that if it is determined that the corpus is a child within the meaning of section 2(12) of the Act, she would be subject to the Act's provisions.