Home » Adoption deed or consent of biological parent not needed to prove adoption: HC | Mumbai news

Adoption deed or consent of biological parent not needed to prove adoption: HC | Mumbai news

Adoption deed or consent of biological parent not needed to prove adoption: HC | Mumbai news

Mumbai:

Mumbai Stating that if there are other documents which can sufficiently establish the claims of adoption, then an adoption deed or documents showing consent of biological parent is not needed, the Bombay high court (HC) accepted photographs and wedding invitation cards of a 70-year-old woman as proof of her adoption.

The single-judge bench of justice R I Chagla was hearing a testamentary petition of the senior citizen, who was adopted by the deceased testator in 1954 and had sought a declaration that she was the heir of the deceased. However, the Prothonotary and Senior Master had refused to probate the Will as the deed of adoption or consent of her biological father for the adoption was not available.

Justice Chagla was informed by advocates Gauraj Shah and Mahesh Chitnis that their client had approached the HC to probate the Will of her deceased adoptive father in February 2022. However, in the absence of an adoption deed or the consent of her biological father for the adoption, the application for probation of the Will in favour of the 70-year-old was not allowed.

In the absence of the documents required by the court registry, the advocates stated that they had filed an affidavit detailing the sequence of events in the life of their client, which would prove that she was adopted by the deceased testator (adoptive father). The advocates also referred to the Will of the adoptive father to prove that she was the rightful heir.

The affidavit stated that the woman was two years old when she was adopted by her father’s brother in 1954. The advocates substantiated it with the clause mentioned by the adoptive father in his Will wherein it was mentioned that “during life time of the testator he has adopted the Petitioner who is the daughter of his late brother Mr V Varahachari by vedic rights with consent of his brother and that he has educated her and given her in marriage.”

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The court was also shown photographs and invitation cards of the wedding reception of the 70-year-old, wherein the adoptive father was described as the father of the bride.

In light of these submissions, the bench observed, “Having considered the documents on record as well as submission of the learned Counsel for the Petitioner, it is apparent that the Petitioner had been adopted by the deceased Mr Ranganathan. Thus, the requisition of the Prothonotary and Senior Master as to whether there was consent of the deceased brother in writing, is not well taken.”

The bench further observed that as an earlier bench had held that “there was no law that required a bequest be only made to relatives or to next-of-kin it made no difference whether or not the legatee was adopted or was a complete outsider to the family.” In light of these observations, the HC directed the Registry to issue probate in accordance with law and disposed of the petition.

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