Unclaimed baby girl ready to get parents

Cuttack: Victim of an alleged baby swapping episode, the four-and-half-month-old girl will finally get the comfort and care of her parents as her family members are now ready to accept her as their daughter.

The baby was lying unclaimed at the SCB medical college and hospital here ever since she was born on March 30 this year. Claiming that she had delivered a baby boy, the girl`s mother Rashmita Mallick of Cuttack (rural) had left the hospital without the girl. She had also alleged that her baby was swapped with the baby of another woman who had same surname.

"But now the family members have agreed to accept the baby girl `Atmaja` after Odisha High Court decided that Rashmita Mallick, wife of petitioner Sukanta Mallick is actually the mother of the girl on the basis of a DNA report," said Sukanta`s counsel Bijay Panda adding that the family would go to the hospital on Saturday to accept the baby.

Earlier in Friday morning, the Division Bench of Chief Justice V Gopala Gowda and Justice S K Mishra ordered petitioner Sukanta Mallick to accept the baby as the DNA report submitted by genetic scientists of Hyderabad-based Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) indicated that the petitioner`s wife Rashmita was not the mother of the baby boy.

Blood samples of both the babies and two mothers were sent to the Hyderabad laboratory on May 2 for DNA test following a High Court order.

The CFSL scientists last month had expressed their inability to give a conclusive view over the issue stating that they also required the blood samples of contesting fathers to exactly identify the parents of the baby girl.

But since the fathers were away from the state, the High Court had asked the CFSL to give its report on the basis of available blood samples.

Two women – Rashmita and Nirupama – having same surnames (Mallick) and their husbands sharing phonetically closer first names (Sukanta and Sushanta), were in the labour room of the hospital and delivered babies almost at same time. Both the babies – a boy and a girl – were put in the same tray after their birth on March 30 evening.

While Nirupama went home with the baby boy, Rashmita had refused to accept the girl child claiming that her child was swapped by the hospital authorities.

However, after today`s verdict of the High Court, the beleaguered authorities of SCB medical college and hospital heaved a sigh of relief as similar allegations were also levelled against them earlier.