Child's custody – Hindu tea stall owner wins battle against Muslim mother in SC

Breaking precedent, Supreme Court on Monday passed the custody of a child to his Hindu adoptive father and thus disposing a petition filed by the biological mother of the child eight years ago.

Updated: Mar 02, 2016, 13:50 PM IST
Child's custody – Hindu tea stall owner wins battle against Muslim mother in SC

New Delhi: Breaking precedent, Supreme Court on Monday passed the custody of a child to his Hindu adoptive father and thus disposing a petition filed by the biological mother of the child eight years ago.

In 2004, four-year-old Akbar went with his alcoholic father to a roadside drinking joint in Allahabad where he went missing.

Aiku Lal , a Hindu tea stall owner, found the child crying in a park in Lucknow.

Lal took pity on the child and advertised about him in TV channels. Receiving no response from the child's family, Lal finally took the child home as his son. He also admitted the child (Akbar) to a school without changing his name or religion.

Three years later, in 2007, Akbar's biological parents turned up and and claimed the custody of the child from Aiku Lal, though the boy did not want to return to them. The same year, the parents move the Allahabad High Court and filed a petition seeking custody of their child.

In the petition filed before the court, they also accused Lal of using their son as a bonded labour at his tea stall. However, Lal challenged the claim by producing the school certificates and other documents proving that he had been taking god care of the child.

The matter was later brought to Supreme Court, who decided to give priority to the welfare of the child. First Post quoted the bench as saying, "Rather than altering the present arrangement, we, therefore, feel that it would be appropriate if Akbar lives with his mother during the duration of the summer vacation every year (from May to July) till he attains the age of 18 years."

In its ruling, the bench also observed it would be completely up to Akbar to decide if he wants to move to his biological mother Shahnaz Begum or stay with his adopted father Aiku Lalu, after he attains maturity.