The Supreme Court retained custody of a 16-year-old boy with a Hindu man after the teenager’s biological mother moved the court seeking his custody.
The child, belonging to a Muslim family, was taken in by Aiku Lal in Lucknow after he was found abandoned. Having been taken in, cared for and educated by Lal, the boy will remain with his adoptive father until he turns 18, upon which he can decide where he wishes to live, the court ruled.
A bench headed by Justice JS Kehar disposed of the custody petition filed by the boy’s mother, but said the teenager could spend the summer vacations with his biological family.
Shahnaz Begum had moved the apex court after the Allahabad high court declined to give her the child’s custody. Begum said her son Akbar had gone missing in 2004. Three years later, she and her late husband found out he was living with Lal in Lucknow.
The Allahabad court had also rejected the petition on the same grounds as the Supreme Court, that Aiku Lal had taken care of Akbar ever since he found him. Lal apparently remained unmarried due to his commitment to boy.
During a hearing in the apex court, Akbar said he wished his mother and Aiku Lal resided together so he could live in their joint custody. However, the court rejected his suggestion, which was also turned down by his mother.