Madurai: Madras High Court Bench on Friday directed External Affairs Ministry officials to produce before it by July 30 a two-year-old baby, kidnapped to Singapore by his father using fake documents, as also the man himself.
Justices S Rajeswaran and M Vijayraghavan gave the direction on a habeas corpus petition filed by the child`s mother, a dentist, saying her child had been separated from her at a tender age, which was against Indian law.
She said the fact that the child`s father had lied saying he was taking the then 11-month-old baby to his mother in a village near Pattukottai, proved his evil intentions. He had also submitted false details to dupe the Chief Immigration officer at Chennai to show the child was in the city.
The petitioner sought to produce her minor son in court.
The judges also invoked article 226 of the Constitution over an order of a subordinate court in Singapore, directing the child to be produced by its father at the high court bench here on or before July 30.
The Singapore court where the mother filed a petition permitted her to see the child thrice a week. But she did not have enough money to stay in that country, nor a visa while her husband and in-laws had visas to stay there.
The petitioner got married to the NRI in Singapore and subsequently went to that country to live there with her husband, where she was allegedly harassed physically and mentally by her husband`s mother and sister for dowry.
Meanwhile she came home at Pattukottai in 2010, where she gave birth to a baby boy on July 8, 2010. Her husband flew down to India frequently to meet his son, she said.
In May 2011, he reportedly took her passport to get visa for her and his son and also assured her that the visa would be ready in seven days. On May 5, 2011 he took his son to meet his parents at his native village of Allampallam.
The woman alleged that her husband did not let her go along with him and promised to bring back her child in two hours.
Instead of returning the baby to her, he flew to Singapore with his son and parents, after obtaining exit visa for the eleven month old by submitting false details. Her husband`s family also did not allow her to see the child, when she went to Singapore in a social visit visa, she said.
The woman said she filed a suit at the subordinate court in Singapore, which passed an interim order permitting her to be with the child three times a week, from 10 AM to to 12 PM.
Despite the order, she could not meet her son as she felt insecure at the hands of her husband and in-laws, she said while filing the petition.
The judges said as per Indian law, mother of child is a natural guardian. "We are inclined to invoke the powers under article 226 of the constitution of India", they said.
The judges said the records showed the man had furnished false documents to the Chief Immigration Officer in Chennai on May 19, 2011 to make it seem as if the mother, himself and the child were living in Chennai, whereas the mother and child were at Pattukottai.
They ordered officials of External Affairs ministry and Singapore High Commission to take up the case with their counterparts and ensure the child is returned to India along with its father and produced in court.