Chandigarh, July 28: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has ruled that a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) was required only by foreign and not Indian parents for issuance of a passport.

The ruling by Justice Nirmaljit Kaur came in a case where the Passport Authority had refused passport to a minor girl, adopted in accordance with the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act (HAMA), on the ground that a NOC from the CARA or photocopy from a recognised Indian placement agency was required.

The petitioner’s counsel, Sukhvinder Singh Nara, contended that the NOC from the CARA was not required as Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act (JJ Act) clearly stated that its provisions would not be applicable to an adoption made under the provisions of the HAMA. Nara added the minor petitioner was adopted under an adoption deed, which was a duly executed document and was under the provisions of the HAMA, The Tribune reported.

The counsel for the Union of India, during the course of arguments, contended the inter-country adoption was valid only under the JJ Act.

After hearing arguments, Justice Nirmaljit Kaur asserted it was evident that “Indian parents” were not required to provide the NOC from the CARA. The requirement was for foreign parents. 

“Although, the Court is of the view that an Indian or Overseas Citizen of India with a British passport, i.e. with British Citizenship, will not lose their identity of being an Indian parent or Indian, especially when they are called ‘Overseas Citizen of India’, nevertheless, the debate is left open as no argument was raised qua the same by either side,” Justice Nirmaljit Kaur asserted, while referring to the facts of the case.

Justice Nirmaljit Kaur at the same time added that it would be in the interest of the adoptive parents and the child to obtain a simple NOC from the CARA to ensure a clean transition from one country to another, lest they face difficulty in visa or any other requirement.

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