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Inter country removal and retention of children – recommendations of Justice Rajesh Bindal committee

Published on April 25, 2018
The Justice Rajesh Bindal committee has submitted on legal issues related to inter country removal & retention of children its report to Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD).
  • The committee has been appointed by the Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD).
  • Along with its recommendation, Committee has also submitted a draft legislation- International Child Abduction bill to the Government. This bill was prepared by the Law Commission.
  • The WCD Ministry will now be sharing the report with Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Law Ministry and Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for their comments and inputs.

Recommendations of the committee

  • Stressing upon the need for mediation as the first step, Justice Bindal Committee has recommended that the Government may establish an ‘Inter Country Parental Child Removal Disputes Resolution Authority’. 
  • The authority will be chaired by retired High Court Judge and shall have members from Legal and Social sector background along with representatives from key Ministries.
  • The authority has been envisaged to provide a one window solution in cases of inter country removal and retention of Children.
  • The authority will examine inter country cases of removal and retention of children vis-a-vis cultural context, merit of case, and best interest of the Child.

Other related facts

  • Protecting rights of parents and children has become a critical issue of national and international importance due to rise in transnational marriages.
  • There are over three crore Indians living abroad having cross-border marriages.
  • When such diverse marriage breaks down, their children suffer as they are dragged into international legal battle between their parents over their custody.
  • Thereafter in due course of this battle, the children are abducted by one parent and taken to country with different culture.
  • Currently, there is no specific legislation in India addressing issues related to abduction of children from and into India. 
  • The Hague Convention is multilateral treaty that seeks to protect children from harmful effects of abduction and retention across international boundaries by providing procedure to bring about their prompt return. 
  • 94 states are party to it. India is not signatory to it as it does not has its own domestic law in place for that. 
  • The Law Commission of India (LCI) in its 218th Report had prepared draft legislation to address the issue and support India’s accession to “Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction 1980”.

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