Nine-year-old's future at stake as grandparents slug it out
Will a couple of insurance policies, fixed bank deposits, National Small Saving (NSS) certificates and property decide the future of a nine-year-old girl? Or will love and affection shape her future life?
Asleen, who has lost both her parents, is unaware of all these facts, nor has she any clue about the ongoing tug of war between her maternal and paternal grandparents.
The judicial courts decided to give the right of her custody to her maternal grandparents and directed that she would spend half her summer and winter vacations and Sundays with her paternal grandparents.
The court also directed that every alternate birthday of the child would be celebrated at the house of the paternal grandparents.
"I have not met my granddaughter for the past two years," claimed the 70-year old Surjit Singh, a resident of local Ajit Nagar locality.
Carrying a copy of the Wednesday edition of the Hindustan Times, which published a story on Asleen's maternal grandfather's fight for justice, he broke down on seeing the photograph of Asleen celebrating her 9th birthday at her maternal grandparents' home in the Partap Nagar locality on August 20.
He claimed that he was being framed in false cases by Jaswinder Singh, the maternal grandfather of Asleen and his family members.
"A 9-year-old needs our love and affection to shape her future. Why cannot Jaswinder and his family understand this fact? Whatever I have belongs to my granddaughter and I will never take it away from her, so why this bitterness," he asked.
Surjit's only son Surpreet died in 2006 and his daughter-in-law Sumeet Kaur passed away in 2008.
Contradicting the claims of Jaswinder that he and his family members had tried to withdraw the insurance amounts that were in the name of his son, Surjit claimed that he had not withdrawn even a single penny. He claimed that he had transferred these policies in the name of his granddaughter.
He also showed the papers of fixed deposits, NSS certificates and other insurance policies made in the name of his granddaughter after the death of his son.
"What fraud have I committed? I want the future of my granddaughter secure and will even give my entire property to her once she reaches the age of 18. My only plea is let's all jointly plan her future," he said, as tears rolled down his cheeks and one his three daughters reached out to comfort him.
On the charge that he and his relatives withdrew money from the account of his son after his death, Surjit produced documents to show that the account was in the name of SP Enterprises, the firm his son was running.
The case registered this year under sections 420, 467, 468 and 471 of the IPC at B-Division police station was false and an inquiry is going on into this, he claimed while pointing out that Jaswinder used 'influence' to get this case registered.
He showed documents to prove that the amounts withdrawn from time to time were used for paying of bank loans plus interest amounting to Rs 5.66 lakh.
"The level to which Jaswinder could stoop down to can be gauged from the fact that after the death of my son, he filed a case in the women cell of the police alleging that I used to harass my daughter-in-law for dowry," he said while showing a certificate that gave him and his family a clean chit following an inquiry.