Expressing concern over the welfare of children, the Bombay High Court has asked Bollywood actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui and his estranged wife Zainab to personally appear before it along with their two minor children on April 3 to explore the possibility of settling their issues amicably for the sake of the children.
A bench of Justices Revati Mohite-Dere and Sharmila Deshmukh asked them to appear on April 3 at 4.30 pm in their chamber for an in-camera hearing. “We are concerned for the children...let's explore the possibility of an amicable settlement,” said Justice Dere.
The HC was hearing a habeas corpus (produce the person) petition filed by the actor seeking direction to his estranged wife Zainab to reveal the whereabouts of their 12-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son.
Wife's decision affected children's education
According to his plea, his wife and children are citizens of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). He claimed that his wife brought their children from Dubai to India without informing him which was affecting their education as they were not attending school. He learnt about the same after receiving a message from their school.
Adnan Shaikh, Siddiqui's advocate, informed the bench a proposed consent term was sent as directed by the high court earlier. “We have sent the proposed consent terms. It has been six days but we have got no reply. Don't think they want to settle,” said Shaikh.
However, the wife’s advocate, Chaitanya Purankar, contended that she too wants to settle the matter.
On Justice Dere’s suggestion on why the couple doesn’t consider the possibility of mediation, Purankar said that the wife couldn't afford it.
Siddiqui has also filed a defamation suit against his brother and wife seeking damages of Rs 100 crore.
Zainab has filed a domestic violence case against the actor which is pending before the Magistrate's court.