Thanks to the efforts of the Madras High Court, a 12-year-old girl, subjected to physical abuse by her relatives, has been reunited with her mother, a widow who had remarried.
Earlier the girl was rescued by the Thanjavur district child welfare committee on a complaint from neighbours.
A division bench of the court’s Madurai bench, comprising Justice M. Sathyanarayanan and Justice V.M. Velumani, disposing of habeas corpus petition filed by the mother, directed the District Child Welfare Officer to relieve the girl from the Government Orphanage, where she had been lodged.
The woman had earlier approached her relative Rakinai in Thanjavur and sought help to get her daughter school admission in Papanasam. Rakinai, who took custody of the girl, and her daughter Saranya allegedly abused the girl physically.
An FIR was registered against the two under Indian Penal Code (IPC) section 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt) and section 75 (punishment for cruelty to child) of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2015 on a complaint lodged by the child welfare officer.
The officer submitted that the girl had sustained injuries all over her body and hence she was immediately shifted to the government orphanage to protect her from being subjected to further abuse.
The bench directed the officer to hand over the girl’s custody to the petitioner. It also directed the school in Papanasam to issue Transfer Certificate and give back the original birth certificate and other relevant certificates of the child if the petitioner wanted to shift her to some other institution.