High Court Ahmedabad asks woman to breastfeed love child
Jun 5, 2010
AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat High Court has ordered Ahmedabad Civil Hospital authorities to ensure that a woman breastfeeds her newborn girl, who was weaned away by her parents because this was a love child and they did not approve of the relationship.
When the court was informed that the parents had forced the separation of the mother and child, the court asked the hospital staff to take help of woman constables if the parents interfered.
Last year Sarita, a married Marwadi woman in Vadaj area of Ahmedabad eloped with a Marathi boy, Hitesh. Sarita’s parents filed a habeas corpus petition in the high court. She was brought to the court by cops on July 27 last year, but she refused to go with her parents. The parents claimed she was already married, but the court silenced them saying Sarita was not a minor and had expressed her intention to live with Hitesh.
The couple began living together and Sarita got pregnant. That’s when her family took her away. Sarita later lodged an FIR against Hitesh and his two friends for rape. Shocked, Hitesh approached the court to get the FIR quashed and explained how the girl preferred to stay with him instead of going with her parents last year.
Hitesh was in the meantime arrested by police and sent to the Sabarmati Central Jail in February. The high court immediately ordered release of the boy on bail and stayed the probe. The girl was called before the court to explain why she had complained against Hitesh even as he asserted that the unborn child was his and he was willing to stay with Sarita for the rest of his life.
But looking at the advanced stage of pregnancy, Sarita was ordered to stay with her parents, who shifted her to the Civil Hospital for delivery. The high court also ordered the hospital staff to take proper care in this case, and not to discharge her after delivery till further orders.
On May 10, a girl was born to Sarita, but as per the hospital’s report it was found the mother was not feeding the infant at the behest of her parents, though she was capable. The neonatology unit was looking after the baby. This led the court to ensure that the infant got right to her mother’s milk. The court asked Sarita to be present in court fo another hearing scheduled next week.
(Names have been changed to protect identities)