Islamabad: The Supreme Court yesterday in minor custody case issued notices to the Punjab government and the Children Protection Bureau, Rawalpindi. Pakistan Peoples Party Senator Taj Haider and his wife Naheed Warsi Haider had filed an appeal against the Lahore High Court’s judgment. Special Court of Punjab Destitute and Neglected Children Protection, Rawalpindi and LHC had dismissed the PPP senator and his wife petitions for the adoption of minor girl, who presently is in the custody of in-charge Children Protection Bureau, Rawalpindi. The PPP senator from Karachi wanted the custody of girl Wajeeha, who was found in a park in Attock district. In order to locate her parents an advertisement was given on Facebook.

The senator’s wife after seeing girl’s picture on Facebook contacted the in-charge of the Punjab Children Protection and Welfare of Destitute and Neglected Children Bureau, Rawalpindi. According to the petitioners, the bureau’s Rawalpindi region officer recovered the girl from Attock and took over the girl’s custody. Nazia Tabassum, in-charge of Shelter Home, instead of keeping the girl in the Bureau took Wajeeha to her house and treating her as maid.

The couple on 24-02-2014 moved an application before the Additional Sessions Judge for adoption. In view of the publicity of the girl on Fackbook and TV channels a man named Kashif claimed Wajeeha was her daughter and also filed an application before the Sessions court for the custody of minor. The DNA test proved his claim. The sessions court on 20-12-2014 handed over the custody of minor Wajeeha to Nazia Tabassum and her husband. The petitioners then filed a writ petition against the trial court. But LHC also dismissed the petition. Taj Haider therefore had filed an appeal in the Supreme Court.

The lower court and the high court had given judgment that the girl has developed attachment with the bureau chief therefore allowed her to keep the girl at her home. Naek said the custody of minor was illegally given to Bureau in-charge and her husband. Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali heading a three-judge bench asked from the counsel why the in-charge Bureau is deprived of the custody of the minor and what is the locus standi of the appellant. The top court directed the Children Protection Bureau officer to produce the minor Wajeeha on the next date of hearing and adjourned the case till December 9. The PPP senator while talking to reporters along with his wife, who is also petitioner in the case, said: “The destitute girl is my daughter and all the destitute children are my children.” He said the outcome of the case will affect the fate of numbers of children living in the Bureau.