Punjab and Haryana excessive court docket permits habeas corpus plea on little one’s custody | Chandigarh Information
CHANDIGARH: In a case of its own kind, the Punjab and Haryana Supreme Court upheld a habeas corpus plea by a US citizen seeking custody of his underage child, an American citizen, from his estranged wife. For the comprehensive and beneficial development of the mental and physical abilities of a child, the HC believes that the natural process of personal hygiene in the vicinity of the home country is indispensable.
However, the HC left it to the US court to rule on the minor’s guardianship.
In this case, the underage boy had come to India with his mother for treatment, but she refused to take him back to rejoin her husband’s company.
US citizen demands the release of the underage son from the “illegal custody” of his wife
Judge Arun Kumar Tyagi passed the order while approving a petition from Kiran V Bhaskar, currently a senior software engineer at Walmart Labs, Bentonville, Arkansas, USA and permanent resident of Benton Country, Arkansas, USA. He had filed a habeas corpus petition to secure the release of his underage son from the “illegal custody” of his wife and his in-laws.
The estranged couple married in New York City on January 13, 2011 and had a male child in the United States in January 2016. In January 2019, the child was diagnosed with a congenital condition called hydronephrosis, which affects the kidneys and needs surgery to be corrected. With no dates available for surgery in Arkansas, the couple came to India for their son’s surgery in March 2019 and the petitioner returned to the United States after the surgery.
After July 2019, the petitioner’s wife stopped providing information about her son’s health and progress and did not allow the petitioner to contact him. She also did not return to the United States with the minor child.
On January 30, 2020, the man filed a split child support petition in Benton County, Arkansas District Court seeking basic care, custody, and control of the child for wrongful detention of the minor outside the United States. The court issued an interim order dated February 3, 2020, stating that the aforementioned court has jurisdiction over the parties and the subject matter and is the appropriate place of jurisdiction for deciding on custody and primary care, custody and control about the child to the petitioner and instructed the wife to immediately hand over the minor child to the petitioner, stating that the alienation of the father from the son would be detrimental to the son’s well-being.
Eventually, the man filed a habeas corpus petition with the Punjab and Haryana Supreme Court to seek custody of his underage son who lived with his wife in Gurgaon.
In response to the problem, the wife claimed that standard medical care and easy availability of medical advice were better in India. In the United States, no early dates were given for urgent surgery on the minor child and he had to be taken to India. She also claimed that the minor child has friends in Delhi and Gurgaon, it has a wonderful opportunity to celebrate a variety of poojas and festivals in India that would never have been possible in the US. He goes to the temple in his maternal grandparents house where he lives every day. The petitioner’s wife claimed that it had strong roots in India.
During the hearing of the case, the HC appointed attorney Anil Malhotra amicus curiae to assist the court on the matter. Malhotra interacted separately with husband and wife via phone / WhatsApp calls on several occasions. However, after interacting with them, the amicus found that a mutually acceptable or neutral position cannot be found.
After hearing all parties, the HC instructed the wife to return to the USA with the minor child on or before September 30th, for which the petitioner would bear the travel and incidental expenses for her stay in the US for her and her minor child . The High Court made it clear that if the wife did not return to the United States, the petitioner would have to hand over custody of the underage child and his passport to the petitioner on October 1st.
“When the minor child returns to the USA, each party is free to resume proceedings before a US court for appropriate orders on the appointment of the guardian and the granting of custody of the minor child,” ordered the HC.
If the minor child is not immediately returned to the United States, their innate potential and abilities would suffer immeasurable setback. The natural nursing process in the vicinity of his home country USA is indispensable for a comprehensive and beneficial development of his mental and physical abilities
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