The Delhi High Court has ordered issuance of open-ended non-bailable warrants against the father of a minor girl, along with two others, for taking the girl to the UAE without the court’s permission. The court has also transferred the probe to the CBI from the Delhi Police, and directed the agency to probe how they crossed the border despite Look Out Circulars (LOC) being issued against them to ensure they do not travel abroad till they deposit their passports in court.
Justice Manmohan and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal said that “in pursuance to the non-bailable warrants issued by this court, the CBI shall take steps for issuance of a Red Corner Notice in accordance with the law in the name of the father and two others”.
It also ordered initiation of contempt proceedings against the man, a resident of South Delhi’s Vasant Vihar, for wilfully violating court orders.
The court’s order was issued after the mother of the girl, by way of her habeas corpus plea, sought production of her daughter aged about two-and-a-half years. As per court records, the woman had been fighting a custody battle for the minor.
Senior advocate Dayan Krishnan, appearing for the woman, submitted that contrary to the plan directed by the court in May 2018, the father was supposed to return the toddler to her mother on August 24, but did not do so. Following this, the woman filed a police complaint.
Standing counsel (criminal) Rahul Mehra and advocate Chaitanya Gosain, appearing for the Delhi Police, contended that the man fled with her to West Bengal on August 25, from where he took a taxi to Nepal.
On being asked about the whereabouts of the minor, advocates Jai A Dehadrai and Siddharth Arora, appearing for the man, told the court that the girl is in the UAE with her father.
They also sought time to file a detailed affidavit explaining why minor was moved out of the jurisdiction of the High Court, and that too on a second passport issued by the Commonwealth of Dominica.
However, the bench observed: “Keeping in view the contumacious conduct of… and his scant regard for binding directions, this court is of the view that the statement made by the counsel for Mr… is another attempt to prevent this court from taking the matter to its logical conclusion. Accordingly, the said prayer is declined.” The CBI will also probe alleged kidnapping and criminal conspiracy in the matter.