While listening to a petition by the grandparents of a five-month old baby boy, the Rajasthan High Court on Saturday ruled against the parents’ decision to hand over the child’s custody to their religious teacher.
The court ruled that the boy should be taken care of by his parents themselves. The case, however, would be heard again in four weeks.
Till then, the adoption deed in favour of religious guru Ram Dayal Maharaj alias Chotey Sarkar of the Dada Darbar sect, who is based in Indore, would be ineffective.
A writ petition had been filed by both maternal and paternal grandparents against child Mulkraj’s custody. The boy was brought to the court on Saturday in compliance with an order, when the HC observed that “whether a child becomes a sadhu (saint) or a shaitan (devil) is up to the child”.
The petitioners had moved court after both the police and the state’s Human Rights Commission failed to take action. The child had been brought to court from the religious guru’s Ashram in Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh.
The petition said that the parents had become ‘blind devotees’ of the spiritual guru. They alleged that the child’s mother, who holds a PhD in commerce, had recently resigned as a college lecturer.
The child’s parents had allegedly placed him in Chote Sarkar’s lap during a visit to the ashram on Holi and promised to formally hand Mulkraj over to the guru on July 31, as per the godman’s instructions.
In her order, the judge referred to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which is ratified by India.
(Picture Courtesy: Mail Today)