High Court allows woman to meet her foster child

Cuttack: The Orissa High Court on Friday recognised the "access rights" of a foster mother and allowed her to meet the girl child who was under the care and protection her for nearly one year but was taken away from her by police and handed over to her biological mother.

Justice B K Nayak of Orissa High Court allowed Mahasweta Dixit and her family of Kakatpur to meet the two-year-old girl, namely Kandhei, who was abandoned by her biological mother under duress.

The High Court asked the Cuttack Child Welfare Committee (CWC) to bring Kandhei to Vasundhara, an orphanage in the city on December 25 where Maheswata and her family members would be with the child from 11 am to 4 pm under the supervision of a CWC official.

This direction from the High Court came while adjudicating a petition filed by Mahasweta and her mother Sebati Padhy urging the Court to give access rights to the child, who was taken away from them by police and handed over to her biological mother following an order from the CWC.

Mahasweta and her mother Sebati have approached the court seeking to quash the order of the CWC.

According to reports, one Padmini Swain of Kendrapara had abandoned Kandhei, her second girl child in September 2011. However, Kandhei came in the hands of Mahasweta, a married woman having a boy child. Mahasweta and her family took care of Kandhei.

The CWC on November 15, 2012 directed that the child be handed over to Padmini and asked Mahasweta and her family not to stake any claim on the child as they do not have any rights over Kandhei.