Supreme Court of India on 19 February 2014 ruled that people are free to adopt children irrespective of their religious background. This ruling of the Apex Court has paved the way for adoption of a child by people hailing from Muslim community even though it is not allowed under their personal law.
The decision was made by the three-Judge bench of Supreme Court headed by the Chief Justice of India, P Sathasivam and Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Shiva Kriti Singh. The bench held that the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2006 is a small step towards the concept of Uniform Civil Code mentioned in Article 44 of the Constitution of India.
The Court in its direction also said that the law has entitled adoption by people belonging to any religion and any person, who does not submit himself to personal law can adopt a child.
The bench said the Act is an enabling legislation that gives a prospective parent the option of adopting an eligible child by following due procedure. This judgment of Supreme Court came following a petition filed by activist Shabnam Hashmi 8 years ago after being refused a permission to adopt.