The Kerala High Court recently issued directions to the State Police Chief, District Police Chief (Rural) Kollam, Station House Officer (Kottarakara Police Station), and Secretary of Ummanoor Grama Panchayath (Valakom, Kollam) to take necessary steps to prevent the illegal abandonment of newbornbabies, particularly in areas like Bathani Chapel in Valakom, Kollam.
Chief Justice A.J. Desai and Justice V.G. Arun expressed their opinion that the concerned authorities should undertake the required measures after hearing a public interest litigation concerning the distressing issue of newborn infants being illegally abandoned on the streets, specifically near BathaniChapel in Valakom.
The petitioner, a native of Kollam, highlighted the lack of positive actions taken by the police, despite three FIRs being registered under the IPC and Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015. The most recent FIR, lodged in January 2023, followed the abandonment of a baby girl, less than a week old, at Valakom Bathani Chapel.
Expressing concern for the well-being and safety of abandoned children, the petitioner emphasized that such acts violated their fundamental rights under Article 21 of the Constitution. The petitioner underscored the importance of providing children with love, care, and a protective environment, stating that abandonment disregarded their rights to care and protection.
“Children have the right to care, protection, and a safe environment to grow and develop. Abandoning a child not only endangers their physical and emotional well-being but also deprives them of their basic rights to love, care, and support,” the petitioner argued.
Seeking immediate intervention, the petitioner urged the Court to direct the respondents to take proactive measures to curb the illegal abandonment of babies in Bathani Chapel, Valakom. Additionally, the petitioner requested the formation of a special investigation team to conduct a thorough inquiry into these incidents of illegal abandonment.
Advocates Syam J. Sam and Meera Babu represented the petitioner, while State Attorney N. Manoj Kumar and Government Pleader K.R. Ranjith appeared for the respondents in the case titled “Alex Mampuzha @ Alexander K v State Police Chief” (WP© NO. 37209 OF 2023), cited as 2023 LiveLaw (Ker) 664.
The Court’s directive serves as a crucial step toward ensuring the safety and protection of vulnerable newborns, emphasizing the need for immediate action to prevent such distressing incidents in the future.