Law Commission suggests changes in govt. draft Bill on child abduction

The 21st Law Commission in its first report on Monday recommended a series of changes in the draft Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction Bill-2016, proposed by the Women and Child Development Ministry, including one-year jail term for wrongful retention or removal of a child from the custody of a parent.

The offenders may include one of the parents or family, relatives and others.
The Commission has, in its revised “The Protection of Children (Inter-Country Removal and Retention) Bill, 2016”, also recommended three months’ punishment for wilful misrepresentation or concealment of fact as regards the location or information about the child or for voluntarily prevent the safe return of the child.

The Law Commission handed over the report to the Centre, observing that it has prepared a comparative statement showing the provisions of the said draft Bill, as upload on the website of the Women and Child Development Ministry, and the revised Bill recommended by it, indicating the modifications.


“The principles of best interest of the child can be found in the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989, which came into force on September 2, 1990, and the Preamble and object of the Hague Convention, 1980,” said the Commission.

The Commission quoted a Punjab and Haryana High Court judgment (February 2016) referring the matter to the Law Commission “to examine multiple issues involved in inter-country, inter-parental child removal amongst families and thereafter to consider whether recommendations should be made for enacting a suitable law for signing the Hague Convention on Child Abduction”.

The Law Commission had, in its 218th report, examined the same issues and advised the government to sign the Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

Upon coming to know that the government has prepared a draft of the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction Bill, 2016, the Commission decided to examine the proposed provisions and is of the opinion that it requires revision keeping in view the legislative precedents and practices followed in the drafting of Bills and to suitably harmonise its provisions with the Hague Convention.
Source - The Hindu

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