Section 16 – The Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act,1956

The Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act,1956

16. Presumption as to registered documents relating to adoption.-

Whenever any document registered under any law for the time being in force is produced before any court purporting to record an adoption made and is signed by the person giving and the person taking the child in adoption, the court shall presume that the adoption has been made in compliance with the provisions of this Act unless and until it is disproved.

State Amendment

Uttar Pradesh

Section 16 renumbered as sub-section (1) thereof and after sub-section (1) as so renumbered, the following sub-section (2) shall be inserted, namely:

“(2) In case of an adoption made on or after the 1st day of January,1977 no court in Uttar Pradesh shall accept any evidence in proof of the giving and taking of the child in adoption, except a document recording an adoption, made and signed by the person giving and the person taking the child in adoption, and registered under any law for the time being in force:

Provided that secondary evidence of such document shall be admissible in the circumstances and the manner laid down in the Indian Evidence Act,1872.”

[Uttar Pradesh Civil Laws (Reforms and Amendment) Act,1976 (U.P. Act 57 of 1976), sec. 35 (w.e.f. 1-1-1977).]

COMMENTS

Burden of proof

(i) Whenever any document registered under any law for the time being in force is produced before any court purporting to record an adoption made and is signed by the person giving and the person taking the child in adoption, the court shall presume that the adoption has been made in compliance with the provisions of this Act. The proof of giving and taking of child is not necessary; Pathivada Rama Swami v. Karoda Surya Prakasa Rao, AIR 1993 AP 336.

(ii) If the adoption is disputed, it is for the plaintiff to prove that ceremony of giving and taking has not taken place; Devgonda Raygonda Patil v. Shamgonda Raygonda Patil, AIR 1992 Bom 189.

Registered Documents

The petitioner is lawfully adopted by a Hindu lady and the Deed of adoption is registered and therefore the presumption as per the provisions of section 16 of the Act, can be drawn in favour of the petitioner. The said presumption would operate so long as there is not rebuttal by the procedure known to law; N.R. Trivedi v. District Education Officer, Anand , AIR 2004 Guj 53.

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The Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act,1956

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