..::Custody of Illegitimately born Child in Pakistan

…posted by Free Legal Advice Law Firm in Pakistan

Lahore High Court directed the boy’s parents to settle the issue of custody amicably…

The Lahore High Court on Tuesday adjourned hearing on a habeas corpus petition filed by the mother of a four-year-old boy and directed the boy’s parents to settle the issue of custody amicably. The parents, both of whom are Canadian nationals, were never legitimately married.  Petitioner Roshni Desai, Canadian of Indian origins, had moved the court for the recovery of Azan Sohail Niazi from his father, Jahanzeb Niazi, originally from Sialkot, but now a Canadian national.

Ms Desai, through her counsel Aftab Ahmad Bajwa, submitted that the boy was born on July 10, 2007, in Canada, out of her union with Mr Niazi. The couple separated in November, 2010 and she settled in Montreal with her child with Mr Niazi enjoying visitation rights.

She said that on March 7, 2011, Mr Niazi took Azan away and initially he wouldn’t answer her calls. According to her version after many attempts she succeeded in finally establishing contact with the respondent who promised that she would be handed over their minor son soon.

On March 9, 2011, Ms Desai said, a Canadian police informed her Jahanzeb Niazi had flown away to Pakistan along with Azan. She said since she had been told that her son had travelled on a Pakistani passport, she contacted the Pakistani Consulate.

Ms Desai said she also filed a petition before the Canadian Superior Court (Family Division), Province of Cubic, District Montreal, Canada, and obtained an order which directed the respondent to hand over the child to her by March 15, 2011. The same court also granted her legal custody of the child. Further, she approached the Royal Canadian Mounted police which issued warrants for Jahanzeb Niazi on charges of abduction.

She pleaded with the LHC that Jahanzeb Niazi had no right to custody of the minor according to the Canadian law and Muslim Family Laws of Pakistan because there was no legal marriage solemnised between them.

Roshni Desai said she and her son were both Canadian nationals and the respondent, Jahanzeb Niazi had not obtained Pakistani citizenship for Azan; therefore, legally, as a citizen of Canada the minor could not live in Pakistan according to an order of the Canadian Superior Court (Family Division), Montreal, Canada.

Earlier, the police produced the child and Jahanzeb Niazi in the court of the judge, Justice Asad Munir, who allowed the petitioner to meet her son in the courtroom.

During the course of hearing, Justice Munir observed that under Pakistani laws it was difficult to determine the custody of the minor as his parents were not legally married.

The judge said it was a very sensitive matter that should be resolved amicably.

Justice Munir temporarily handed over the child to Ms Desai but directed her to surrender her passport, to be kept in the court’s possession till the disposal of the case. He directed the two parties to reach some agreement by the next hearing which was fixed for April 14.

A representative of the Canadian consulate also attended the proceedings.

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