Prayagraj, December 10: The Allahabad high court has held that a married Hindu man will need the consent of his wife, even if she not living with him but is not divorced, for adoption of a child under Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act.

Justice JJ Munir passed the order while dismissing a petition filed by one Bhanu Pratap Singh of Mau in which he had requested for appointment on compassionate grounds in the forest department of the state after the death of his uncle Rajendra Singh, the Hindustan Times reported.

According to the petitioner, in 2001, he was adopted by his uncle who was alienated from his wife, Phulmati, and had no child from the marriage. Therefore, he was entitled to the job as per the provisions of The Uttar Pradesh Recruitment of Dependents of Government Servants Dying-in-Harness Rules, 1974, because he was the sole heir and dependant of his adopter who was an employee of the forest department at the time of his death.

On December 17, 2016, the forest department rejected Singh’s plea for an appointment on compassionate grounds. This rejection was challenged in high court.

The court declined to interfere in the rejection order passed by the forest department while holding that adoption was not in accordance with law. It said the late government official’s wife had not been divorced till his death and she was still his wife, though estranged and living separately, so her consent was necessary for the late government official to adopt the petitioner.

“The provisions make it imperative for a Hindu male to secure his wife’s consent to an adoption that he makes, unless she has completely and finally renounced the world, or has ceased to be a Hindu, or has been declared by a court of competent jurisdiction to be of unsound mind,” the court said. 

“There is no doubt that Phulmati was a wife living until the death of late Rajendra Singh. The two were never divorced, howsoever, estranged they might have been,” the court said.

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