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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Sep 2014

Delhi HC refuses child custody case, says all parties are Pakistani

Rocky Soibam Singh, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, August 25, 2014
First Published: 22:46 IST(25/8/2014) | Last Updated: 22:50 IST(25/8/2014)
The Delhi High Court on Monday refused to adjudicate the custody battle of a four-year-old child, saying it did not have the jurisdiction to do so as the parties involved were all Pakistani nationals.
 
The girl's paternal and maternal uncles had approached the court to decide who would get her custody after she lost her parents in a car accident in Kashmir in June. Her mother Shabnam was Pakistani while Shabnam's husband, Shabir Ahmed, was her stepfather and an Indian. The family met with an accident on June 14 in Kashmir's Anantnag district.
 
The court disposed of the plea observing that a status report filed by Delhi Police and Jammu & Kashmir government showed that all parties are Pakistani nationals.
 
It said the girl's paternal aunt could approach the high commission and in case they do not hear her, she could then move to the ministry of home affairs for any other remedy.
 
The court had asked the Pakistan High Commission for its help in resolving the issue but no one came for the hearing.
 
"The Pakistan High Commission was asked to come but they did not come," the court said. "We have even sought its assistance for resolving the issue but they did not respond."
 
The court had earlier asked the high commission to ascertain whether the girl was a Pakistani national and whether her maternal uncle, John Barkat, resided in Pakistan. Her paternal uncle, Naz, contended that he stayed in Japan, even though he was a Pakistan national.
 
Barkat told the court that the girl could not be brought to Delhi from Srinagar as she was recuperating from her injuries.

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