The Supreme Court, hearing a custody battle between a couple over their 11-year-old boy, today directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to bring the child back from Kenya and register a criminal case against the father. The Supreme Court has also served a contempt notice to the father.
The father of the child “fraudulently” obtained custody orders from an Indian court by misleading them, the top court ruled.
The couple Perry Kansagra and Smriti Kansagra got married in 2007 and have been living separately since April 2012. The child, who enjoys dual citizenship of Kenya and the United Kingdom, is an Overseas Citizen of India.
On October 28 last year, the top court had granted permanent custody of the son to his Indian-origin father Perry Kansagra, who has a Kenyan passport. The court had granted custody on the condition that the father will obtain a “mirror order” from the Kenyan court reflecting the conditions and assurances arrived at between the parents and produce it before the Supreme Court.
In December 2020, Perry Kansagra told the Supreme Court that the Kenyan court had registered the judgment of the Supreme Court on November 9, 2020.
On August 19 this year, the court was informed by the mother’s advocate that the High Court of Kenya has refused to recognise the order passed by the Supreme Court.
With the child now outside Indian jurisdiction and the father in clear breach of its order, the Supreme Court had asked the Centre to take up the matter at a diplomatic level with Kenya. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had informed the court that the Foreign Secretary will be in a position to deal with the issue.
“The Central Bureau of Investigation through its Director is directed to initiate appropriate proceedings by registering criminal proceedings against Perry Kansagra and to secure and entrust the custody of Aditya to Smriti Kansagra,” the court said today.
It also directed the Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, and the Indian Embassy in Kenya to ensure that all possible assistance and logistical support are extended to Smriti Kansagra in securing her son’s custody.
“False and fraudulent representations” were made by Perry Kansagra and he played “fraud upon the Court”, the Supreme Court said in its verdict and recalled its orders which granted the boy’s custody to his father, declaring the custody to be “illegal”.
The court also issued a contempt notice to the father and directed the registry to give Rs 25 lakh to the mother (for legal expenses) from the Rs 1 crore that had been deposited by the father.