The Bombay High Court has directed that an representative from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) be present virtually during the hearing in a plea by filmmaker Mustaq Nadiadwala seeking return of his children, who were taken by his estranged Pakistani wife to the neighbouring country.
A division bench of Justices Revati Mohite-Dere and Gauri Godse, on Friday, asked a representative to remain present from both the central ministries to ensure that notice was served to Nadiadwala’s wife, Maryam, in Pakistan.
Wife moves Pak court
Nadiadwala’s plea alleged that his estranged wife went with their two minor children to see her family in the neighbouring country during the lockdown, but never came back. He also claimed that she has approached a court in Pakistan to be declared as the children’s guardian.
The HC had issued notice to Nadiadwala’s wife on August 29.
However, during the hearing on November 28, the HC noted that the notice issued “through the MHA has been returned back for want of certain documents”.
The court was given a copy of the guidelines for service of summons in respect of criminal matters that had been issued by the Home Affairs Ministry. As the counsel for the MEA and MHA was unable to satisfactorily reply to queries posed by the court, the HC asked representatives of MEA and MHA to remain present virtually.
Nadiadwala’s counsel Beni Chatterji informed the court that they had served private notice to his wife. However, the court said that the notice had to go through the official channel.
The bench has kept the matter for further hearing on December 8.
The HC had earlier asked the Interpol to furnish a report on the well-being of the children. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had told the court that their counterparts in Pakistan had approached Nadiadwala's estranged wife and children through Interpol and a yellow corner notice (global police alert for missing person) has been issued.