New Delhi, Jan 12 (Agencies): Adoption of a child by the husband is not valid if the wife does not give her consent to it even though she might be been present at the ceremony as a spectator, the Supreme Court has ruled.

The apex court said that to prove a valid adoption, the claimant has to produce documents of consent given by the wife otherwise the process becomes invalid as mandated by Section 7 of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956.

"By incorporating the requirement of the wife’s consent in the proviso to Section 7 and by conferring independent right upon a female Hindu to adopt a child, Parliament has tried to achieve one of the facets of the goal of equality enshrined in the Preamble and reflected in Article 14 read with Article 15 of the Constitution.

"This can be done either by producing document evidencing her consent in writing or by leading evidence to show that the wife had actively participated in the ceremonies of adoption with an affirmative mindset to support the action of the husband to take a son or a daughter in adoption.

The presence of the wife as a spectator in the assembly of people who gather at the place where the ceremonies of adoption are performed cannot be treated as her consent. "In other words, the court cannot presume the consent of the wife simply because she was present at the time of adoption," the apex court said.

A bench of justices G S Singhvi and Asok Kumar Ganguly passed the judgement while dismissing the appeal of Ghisalal from Madhya Pradesh who claimed to be the adopted son of Gopalji and Dhapubai.