Man files petition in HC for child's custody

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Mumbai, Jun 29 (UNI) The Bombay High Court on Wednesday will hear a petition filed by a 43-year-old anguished man, seeking the court's direction to his estranged wife to hand over custody of their 13-year-old ''kidnapped'' child.

The petitioner -- Mohammed Khalil Ahmed Bhamla, a Mumbai-based businessman, has alleged that his wife had kidnapped their son.

In 1994, while doing a business in Dubai, he met a girl, who later became his wife. He later came down to Mumbai and married the girl as per Muslim customs. They had a son, Abdul Razzak, on August 25, 1995 in Dubai. In 1998, Khalil sent his wife, a homemaker, and son to the matrimonial house at Byculla in South Central Mumbai.

Next year, the trouble started when she left that house and moved to her parents home then at Santacruz in North West Mumbai.

The Halai Memom Jamaat, an NGO, called the couple to its office at Crawford Market to amicably resolve the matter, but the in-laws demanded divorce and never considered rapproachement, the petitioner said.

In 2000, Khalil approached them again, when they demanded divorce or Rs 19,000 cash, Dubai residence visa for the woman and child and air tickets. On April 12, 2002, the woman disappeared from his house leaving the child, then aged seven, behind.

Subsequently, she filed a petition in the Dubai court, seeking the son's custody which, she stated, was with Khalil, and sought a divorce. She also garnered witness, all of them had come on visitor's visa.

After the divorce plea was turned down, she made an appeal seeking divorce on basis of Dissolution of Muslim Women Marriage Act,1939, which is not applicable outside India. The court on June 7, 2003, directed Khalil to divorce his wife, which he declined. He had sent his son to stay with his family members in Mumbai on January 13, 2003. On July 22, 2003, the woman obtained a divorcee status passport from the Indian consulate in Dubai and on August 30, she came to Mumbai and picked up their son from outside a school at Nagpada, it was alleged in the plea.

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