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By FutureLaw Desk

After a long legal battle, the infant baby boy ‘Ekush’, found miraculously alive  in a garbage drain in Chittagong, was finally handed over to a couple in Chittagong on last Thursday (March 29, 2017).

The Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge of Chittagong Jannatul Ferdous, also judge of the Children’s Court of Chittagong, granted custody of Ekush to Dr Jakirul Islam and his wife Shakila Akhter. As many as 16 couples pleaded to a court here to adopt the infant, A total of 16 couples applied for getting the baby to the court and nine couples were childless. Receiving the adoption right, the couple who have remained childless over the past 19 years, burst into tears right at the court premises.

However, the judge imposed some conditions on the couple. First, the couple would have to make a Tk 10 lakh education insurance for the infant by April 8. If they do so, the judge ordered to hand over the infant to them by April 10. The court would also check the physical condition of the infant after three consecutive months. Besides, the child would have to be return to its biological parents if they were found, subject to confirmation by DNA test.

Baby Ekush with her new parents; Photo by F M Mizanur Rahman of Dhaka Tribune

Special Public Prosecutor MA Fayez confirmed that the couple already purchased an education insurance from Bank Asia by depositing an initial amount of Tk 1,52,000. When the bank statement was produced before the court, Ekush was handed over to them in the presence of medical authorities as per the court’s verdict.

Judge Jannatul Ferdous thanked all the persons involved in rescuing and saving Ekush, especially police and medical officials and doctors. On a personal note, she mentioned that her critically ill husband (who is also an additional district judge of Chittagong District Judge’s Court) is also admitted at ICU for cancer treatment, yet the responsibility towards the child brought her right to the court. She requested the new-parents to take proper care of baby Ekush, and raise him properly so that he becomes a respectable person someday.

On the night of February 20, he infant was found alive in a garbage bin at Colonel Haat under Akbar Shah Police Station of Chittagong. To embark the historic day of his lucky rescue, he was given the name ‘Ekush.’ Later, the infant was admitted to the intensive care unit of Chittagong Medical College Hospital. Since then the infant has been undergoing treatment there.

The refurbished legislation on the protection of child right came into existence with a high hope as the Children’s Act 2013. This law has empowered the judge of the Children’s Court to grant custody of children without parents to deserving applicants as a method of alternative care. The Children’s Rule 2015 provides a detailed procedure from application for custody, guardianship of children, qualifications of the applicants and standards of care.  This exemplary tale of Ekush and prompt judicial action shall pave the way for many more disadvantaged children for survival and social reintegration.

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Source: Dhaka Tribune & bdnews24

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