Tuesday, April 21, 2009

'Child dikshas may have guardians soon'

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Thursday admitted a petition filed in 2006 by a baldiksha's Indore-based parents challenging the power of the
Child Welfare Committee (CWC) to look into the life of a sadhvi.

A bench of Justices D K D Deshmukh and R S Mohite, while hearing the arguments, indicated the possibility of making compulsory the appointment of a guardian for such baldikshas. "We may make it necessary for a district judge to appoint a guardian for every minor who takes diksha (renunciation of the world as practised among Jains),'' observed Justice Deshmukh. At one point, Justice Mohite seemed unhappy with the fate that greeted baldikshas.

Senior counsel Rafiq Dada, assisted by advocate Sanjay Jain, said the court could not interfere with the practice of diksha.

An NGO had complained to the CWC, which had opined that the baldikshas required better looking after. But the parents said their daughter had chosen to take diksha and no one else could intervene in the age-old tradition followed by the community.

The court had appointed a panel to interview the baldiksha, NGO counsel Mihir Desai said. A report submitted to the court held that the six-year-old's diksha was "clearly a decision taken for her without thinking about the consequences'' and "not in her best interests''.

(From TOI)

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