Why in News?
A committee set up by the Centre to prepare a report on the issue of inter-country parental child abduction has questioned the criterion of “habitual residence” enshrined in the Hague Convention.
FACTS FOR PRELIMS
About the Convention
The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is a multi-national treaty that seeks to protect children wrongfully removed by one of the parents from the custody of the other parent. The convention is applicable to any child, up to the age of 16 years who is a habitual resident of any of contacting states.
At the heart of this treaty is the criterion of “habitual residence” of the child, which is used to determine whether the child was wrongfully removed by a parent as well as to seek the return of the child.
India has not signed the convention, because once India becomes the party to the convention, it will be obligatory for India to consider a foreign judgment automatically irrespective of its ethical standards or dimensions.
Also, there are legal issues regarding the fact that who would be the final authority to decide the custody of the child in case of conflict between the judgments of the two courts.
Currently, there is no specific legislation in India addressing issues related to the abduction of children from and into India. Law Commission in 218th report examined the issues and advised the government to sign the Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.