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Report No. 263

Chapter II
Constitution, Powers and Functions of the Central Authority

4. (1) With effect from such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint, there shall be appointed by the Central Government for the purposes of this Act, an officer of the Central Government not below the rank of Joint Secretary to the Government of India, to be called as the Central Authority.

(2) Such Central Authority shall, unless removed from office under Section xx, hold office for a period not exceeding three years or until he attains the age of sixty years, whichever is earlier.

(3) If a casual vacancy occurs in the office of the Central Authority, whether by reason of his death, termination or otherwise, such vacancy shall be filled within a period of ninety days by making afresh appointment in accordance with the provisions of sub-section (1) and the person so appointed shall hold office for the remainder of the term of office for which the Central Authority in whose place he is so appointed would have held that office.

(5 - No such section proposed by WCD)

5. The Central Authority or any other authority on its behalf shall take all appropriate measures to perform all or any of the following functions, namely:-

(a) To discover the whereabouts of a child who has been wrongly removed to, or retained in, India, and where the child's place of residence in India is unknown, the Central Authority may obtain the assistance of the police to locate the child;

(b) To prevent further harm to any such child or prejudice to any other interested parties, by taking or causing to be taken, such provisional measures as may be necessary;

(c) To secure the voluntary return of any such child to the country in which such child had his or her habitual residence or to bring about an amicable resolution of the differences between the person claiming that such child has been wrongfully removed to, or retained in, India, and the person opposing the return of such child to the Contracting State in which such child has his or her habitual residence;

(d) To exchange, where desirable, information relating to any such child, with the appropriate authorities of a Contracting State;

(e) To provide, on request, information of a general character, as to the law of India in connection with the implementation of the Convention in any Contracting State;

(f) To institute judicial proceedings with a view to obtaining the return of any such child to the Contracting State in which that child has his or her habitual residence, and in appropriate cases, to make arrangements for organising or securing or to institute judicial proceedings for securing the effective exercise of rights of access to a child who is in India;

(g) Where circumstances so require, to facilitate the provision of legal aid or advice;

(h) To provide such administrative arrangements as may be necessary and appropriate to secure the safe return of any such child to the Contracting State in which the child has his or her habitual residence;

(i) Such other functions as may be necessary to ensure the discharge of India's obligations under the Convention.

6. The Central Authority shall, while inquiring into any matter referred to in Section 5, have all the powers of a civil court trying a suit under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, and in particular, in respect of the following matters, namely:

(1) summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person and examining him on oath;

(2) discovery and production of any document;

(3) receiving evidence on affidavit;

(4) requisitioning any public record or copy thereof from any court or office;

(5) issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses or documents.

Protection of Children (Inter-Country Removal and Retention) Bill, 2016 Back

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