Foster mother loses child custody battle

Upholding the order of a lower court,the Punjab and Haryana High Court last Wednesday announced that the custody of 13-year-old Amandeep Kaur would remain with Baljit Kaur,who had given birth to her.

Written by RAGHAV OHRI | Chandigarh | Published: July 19, 2010 1:00 am

Upholding the order of a lower court,the Punjab and Haryana High Court last Wednesday announced that the custody of 13-year-old Amandeep Kaur would remain with Baljit Kaur,who had given birth to her. The verdict was pronounced by Justice R K Jain in response to an appeal filed by Amandeep’s foster mother,Kashmir Kaur,who had moved the High Court against the order passed by a lower court in Muktsar.

“Amandeep was handed over to Baljit Kaur and she has been reunited with her twin sister,” said Advocate Amit Sharma,counsel for Baljit Kaur.

The Indian Express was the first to report the case in November 2009 when the High Court had admitted the appeal of Kashmir. The foster mother claimed that she had been looking after Amandeep ever since Baljit delivered twin girls on January 9,1996.

“It is not uncommon that daughters are not welcomed in Jat Sikh families in Punjab. The family members of Baljit Kaur were planning to kill Amandeep when I expressed the desire to adopt her,” Kashmir Kaur had claimed.

Baljit,a resident of Muktsar,however,rubbished the allegations made by Kashmir. She stated that after she gave birth to twin daughters,she was told by the nurse and doctors that the condition of one of the girls was critical.

A day before Baljit was discharged from hospital,she was reportedly told by her doctor that her daughter had died and had been cremated.

“When we asked as to where was our daughter was cremated,the doctor failed to give any satisfactory reply,” Baljit had submitted.

Baljit claimed that nearly 10 years after the delivery,she learnt that her daughter was alive. Baljit approached Kashmir demanding the custody of Amandeep,but Kashmir refused.

Baljit and her husband,Gurtej Singh,registered a case of cheating and criminal conspiracy against the nurse and doctor for “misleading” them.

Aggrieved,Baljit moved a local court in Muktsar on September 18,2007. Interestingly,the 13-year-old deposed in court that she did not know whether Baljit was her actual mother stated that she wanted to stay with Kashmir.

Additional Civil Judge,Muktsar,Kawaljit Singh,however,pronounced the order in favour of Baljit asking Kashmir to hand over the custody of Amandeep to her biological mother within two months,failing which she (Kashmir) would be arrested. Kashmir did not comply with the lower court orders and,instead,chose to move the High Court.

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