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Afghan man’s plea to direct wife, kids to return with him declined

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    New Delhi, Aug 20: The Delhi High Court has declined the plea of an Afghan national to direct his wife and their two children, who have obtained refugee status in India, to return with him, after the three expressed their unwillingness to live with him.

    The court also denied him visitation rights to meet his children whenever he comes to India noting that the two, aged nine and four years, have expressed their reluctance to meet him.

    Afghan man’s plea to direct wife, kids to return with him declined

    A bench of justices S Muralidhar and Vinod Goel noted that the man's wife has obtained refugee status for herself and the two children under the mandate of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and their refugee ID cards are valid till April 12 next year.

    The court said there was nothing on record to indicate any threat to the safety and security of the children or that they were in inconvenience or their overall development harmed during their stay in India.

    "Consequently, the court has no hesitation as far as the present petition is concerned in declining the relief sought for by the petitioner," the bench said while dismissing the man's plea.

    His counsel also sought an order regarding visitation rights to the father whenever he visits India.

    However, as the children were not inclined to meet him, the bench said it was not possible at this stage to issue any omnibus order regarding his visitation rights and that he may seek the relief in other appropriate proceedings available to him under the law.

    In pursuance to the court's earlier order, the children had met their father at the high court's mediation centre.

    The court noted that the children were reluctant to meet their father and even his wife was unwilling to return with him.

    According to the plea of the Afghan national, he married the woman in 2008 in Kabul and two sons were born to them in 2009 and 2014.

    All of them had come to India on a tourist visa on February 18, 2017 and were staying in Kalkaji in south Delhi at a close friend's residence, the petition said.

    It also said that the wife had gone to a park with the kids on March 8, 2017, but did not return home.

    The petitioner had then approached the police, but it lodged a complaint only on March 14 last year, the plea alleged.

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    The police, thereafter, traced the woman and both she and her husband (the petitioner) were called to the Kalkaji police station on March 24 last year.

    At the police station, the woman said she does not want to live with him and it was then that he came to know that she and the kids have obtained temporary refugee status, the petition has claimed.

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