Hc Permits Widowed Kaki-ma To Hold Custody Of 5 Orphan Siblings | Ahmedabad Information
AHMEDABAD: After mulling for a long time to shift five orphaned children to boarding school, the Gujarat high court has permitted children’s kaki or paternal aunt to retain their custody as of now.
The HC decided to allow the children, aged between 5-16 years, to be with the widowed aunt, Champaben Salat, after the woman and all the children visited the court during a hearing last month and made a passionate plea not to part them with each other.
When the aunt came to know that the court had proposed to shift the children to a government facility in Vadodara, she along with the kids, through their advocate Vaibhav Sheth, requested the court not to separate them and allow them to live together in a village near Khedbrahma.
The court has allowed the aunt to retain their custody after the government informed the court that each of the children is getting Rs 3,000 per month under the Palak Mata Pita Yojana and the aunt is also entitled to get the benefit of widow pension.
After due verifications and reports from the Sabarkantha district child protection officer that the aunt is taking good care of all the children and four of them are pursuing their education in Champalpur Vasahat primary school and the youngest one in Anganwadi, the bench of Justice Sonia Gokani and Justice Mauna Bhatt said, “For now, let the children be continued to be with the paternal aunt. However, eventually a call shall need to be taken and for that welfare officer shall periodically visit the place”
The court has ordered the department of women and child welfare to review their situation at the end of the year in consultation with the Gujarat chapter of the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF). If the need is felt to shift the children to boarding school, they may approach either the high court or take help from the legal service authority.
These five children had lost their mother four years ago and just before the onset of Covid-19 pandemic, their father passed away. The kids were with their maternal uncle, who spends nomadic life and was near Valsad during the pandemic.
For their wellbeing, their uncle Kantibhai Salat, who had settled near Khedbrahma, moved the HC for their custody. Immediately after the court granted him children’s custody, Salat passed away last year due to covid. His widow, Champaben, joined the litigation and got their custody. The kids were shifted from Valsad to Khedbrahma.
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