The Supreme Court, hearing a custody battle between a couple over their 11-year-old boy, today ordered the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to return the child from Kenya and initiate criminal proceedings against the father. The Supreme Court also served a letter of contempt on the father.
The child’s father had “fraudulently” obtained custody orders from an Indian court by misleading them, the Supreme Court ruled.
The couple Perry Kansagra and Smriti Kansagra married in 2007 and have been separated since April 2012. The child who has dual citizenship of Kenya and the UK is an Indian overseas citizen.
On October 28th last year, the Supreme Court granted his Indian father Perry Kansagra, who has a Kenyan passport, permanent custody of the son. The court had granted custody on the condition that the father obtain a “mirror warrant” from the Kenyan court, reflecting the conditions and assurances made between the parents, and submit it to the Supreme Court.
In December 2020, Perry Kansagra notified the Supreme Court that the Kenyan court had registered the Supreme Court’s ruling of November 9, 2020.
On August 19 this year, the mother’s lawyer informed the court that the Kenyan Supreme Court had refused to recognize the Supreme Court’s decision.
Now that the child was outside of Indian jurisdiction and the father was clearly in breach of his order, the Supreme Court asked the Center to deal with the matter at a diplomatic level with Kenya. Attorney General Tushar Mehta had told the court that the Foreign Minister would be able to deal with the matter.
“The Central Bureau of Investigation is instructed by its director to initiate appropriate proceedings by bringing criminal proceedings against Perry Kansagra and securing and entrusting custody of Aditya Smriti Kansagra,” the court said today.
It also directed the secretary, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Indian Embassy in Kenya to ensure that Smriti Kansagra is given all possible help and logistical support to secure custody of her son.
“False and fraudulent representations” were made by Perry Kansagra and he was playing “cheating on the court,” the Supreme Court said in its judgment, recalling his orders granting custody of the boy to his father and declaring custody of ” illegal”.
The court also issued a disdainful note on the father and ordered the law firm to pay the mother Rs 25 lakh (for legal fees) out of the Rs 1 crore on deposit by the father.