The Bombay High Court in the case observed and has ame down heavily on the Maharashtra Government for its refusal to extend the 1% reservation for orphan students in education, as to abandoned children as well.
The division bench comprising of Justice Gautam Patel and Justice Neela Gokhale in the case observed and has also cited the State’s combative approach while responding to most petitions. It stated, When will this government wake up and realize it is not the only one right and in fact it is mostly wrong?
The bench headed by Justice Patel stated that, I will unabashedly say this, what the government is asking us to believe is it does not care about abandoned children.
In the present case, the court was hearing a petition by trust NEST Foundation that sought for an orphan certificate to be issued to two of its inmates and consider them for admission under the 1% horizontal reservation category in education. Therefore, the girls were being abandoned since age 4-5 and their mother hardly visited. While following the High Court order that the girls were recently issued an “abandoned child certificate.”
However, the court also livid after perusing the affidavit which is filed by Sharad Ahire, joint secretary, Women and Child Development Department. It has been claimed by Ahire that “abandoned,” “surrendered” and “orphan” children were all defined under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 and thus, the children being in need of care and protection, but the reservation for orphan cannot be extended to all of them.
It has also been cautioned by him that the parents or guardians may abandon or surrender the child intentionally and misuse the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.
Adding to it, it has been asked by Advocate Abhinav Chandrachud and Advocate Akanksha Agrawal, if a parent would abandon the girls only to benefit from a State reservation policy.
It has been wondered by Justice Patel that if the officer even understood the mental state of a parent who abandons their own child, the gender may hinder me from understanding the plight of a mother abandoning a child and even as a Father, it being unimaginable.
The judge stated with regards to the WCD’s apprehension that children would be deliberately surrendered by parents.
It has also been asked by the bench of Justice Patel that every single matter the government operates with contradiction. Thus, we need to be combative and must oppose. When the government will wake up to the realisation that it is not the only one right and it is in fact mostly wrong?
Accordingly, the court listed the matter to be next heard on March 31, 2023.