The Bombay high court has directed the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Law and Justice to appoint one nodal officer each to keep track of notices or processes issued by Indian courts to people living in foreign countries.
“In a large number of matters, the court sends notices or processes to foreign countries either through the Ministry of Home Affairs or through the Ministry of Law and Justice. However, neither ministry has made arrangements to tell the registrars of the high court what progress is made after the notice has been served,” said the division bench of justices Abhay Oka and Anjua Prabhudessai.
The directive came after a Pune resident filed a plea seeking custody of his minor child, who currently lives in America with the man’s estranged wife.
The couple got married at London in September 1999 and their son was born in June 2002. The couple moved to North Carolina in USA, but soon decided to stay separately, citing frequent fights over petty issues. They initiated matrimonial litigation soon after. While the woman preferred to continue litigation in the USA, the man moved an application before the Pune family court, seeking permanent custody of his son. He approached the high court after the family court rejected his plea.
Last year, the high court directed his wife to bring the son to India give his father temporary custody during his vacations in August 2016. However, this order could not be implemented owing to various reasons.
Now, the bench has directed the woman to bring the child to India in August 2017 and give his father temporary custody for 10 days between August 10 and August 19. The court has also directed the Union ministries to ensure that the order is served to the wife and the agency engaged by US authorities to serving foreign summons, notices and orders to US nationals - Process Forward International.