Coming to the rescue of a UK citizen who was denied the right to be with his family, the Kerala High Court on Monday let him spend an hour with his one-year-old son. The court issued the order after the petitioner moved the court alleging that his in-laws do not allow him have the custody of his son and wife. A Division Bench comprising Justice Pius C Kuriakose and Justice Babu Mathew P Joseph issued the order while considering a habeas corpus petition filed by James Robert Edward Pierce of Shortlands Bromly in the United Kingdom seeking custody of his minor child. James submitted that his child is in the illegal custody of his wife Anna Mathew’s family. He argued that his son has been detained by Anna’s parents at her house in Kollam.
The court asked Anna’s parents to bring the child on Thursdays to St Antony’s Chapel, Kollam at 4 pm, where the petitioner can have the company of his child till 5 pm. He further argued that his in-laws have even conducted the baptism of the child without consulting him. The court asked the petitioner to approach the Family Court and file a petition to resolve the issue. Earlier, the court had sent both the parties to mediation but that failed to yield any result. The petitioner is residing in Kochi and they were married on November 22, 2008 at St Francis Church, Fort Kochi.
James and Anna fell in love when they were employees at a private firm here. James is a service provider for Kerala Travel Mart and some leading hotels in the state. Counsel for the petitioner Sally Thomas Chacko said that the petitioner has no complaint about his wife and children. However, her parents insisted her to stay away from James. “After the child’s birth, Anna’s parents were not permitting the petitioner to stay with his wife and the child,” Sally said.
Though James attempted to contact Anna over phone it turned futile.
Finally, when he contacted her, she cautioned him not to enter the town to avoid confrontation with the locals, the petition pointed out.