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Muslim adopted son cannot claim benefit of SRO 43: HC

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Srinagar: As Muslim community does not permit adoption as a matter of process, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court has dismissed a plea by a man, seeking benefit of SRO-43 of 1994 for being the adopted son of a person who was killed in an encounter between the Army and militants on 30 November 2004.
As per the SRO, the family member means spouse, son, daughter, sister or brother or adopted son or daughter (in respect of communities whose case adoptions are permissible under the Law) dependent on the deceased.
“A bare perusal of the amendment made in the year 2014 vide SRO 177 dated 20th of June, 2014, to the Rules of 1994, brings it to the limelight that in the case of an adopted son/ daughter claiming the benefit of SRO 43 of 1994, the same will only apply if the ‘personal law’ governing such community, of which the beneficiary/adoptee is a member, permits the process of adoption,” a bench of Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey said while dismissing the petition by one Mohammad Rafiq Wagay, adopted son of one Abdul Khaliq Sheikh who was killed in an encounter between the Army and militants on 30 November 2004.
In the event, the ‘Personal Law’ governing the beneficiary/adoptee does not permit adoption as a matter of process, then, in such eventuality, the beneficiary/appointee is not entitled to claim benefit under SRO 43 of 1994, the court said.
“Applying the ratio of the amendment made in SRO 43 of 1994 to the facts and circumstances of the case on hand, what can be stated is that the petitioner is a member of such a community (Muslim) which does not permit adoption as a matter of process and, therefore, the petitioner, being an adopted son of the deceased, cannot claim the benefit of SRO 43 of 1994,” the court added.

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