He is all of 12. Parents are on the run and he is stuck in London for the last 20 months.
Gurinderjit Singh wants to be back in Punjab with his grandparents, but without a passport, he can’t be home.
Singh was found abandoned on a street in the Asian-dominated western London suburb of Southall on March 18, 2008. His parents, Mohinder Singh and Deepinder Kaur, used forged documents to travel and are in hiding to evade arrest and deportation.
Gurinderjit Singh is living with an Indian family appointed guardian by the West London Borough of Ealing council (local authority), which governs Southall.
“Both are in Europe. Mohinder is believed to be in Italy, while Deepinder is stated to be…in the United Kingdom,” the Ealing Council told the Punjab and Haryana High Court last week.
The council moved the court after the ministry of external affairs and the Indian high commission in London failed to arrange an emergency passport for the boy.
Singh’s passport is with his parents. “This has become a torture for him,” the council said.
In its petition, the council criticised the ministry’s non-cooperative attitude.
“Gurinderjit’s uncle (Mohinder’s brother) came forward to claim his guardianship and filed a case in Punjab, but it can’t be decided in the boy’s absence,” council’s lawyer Anil Malhotra told the court.
He said the family division of the London high court had asked the Indian authorities to cancel the old passport and issue a new one to Singh.
“The MEA and high commission both have cited rules, saying an application for issuing a passport or an emergency certificate should be signed by parents in case of a minor,” Malhotra told the court.
The MEA refused comment, saying it was a matter to be decided by the court.