SC asks CBI to pursue case for custody of boy from his alleged paedophile Egyptian father
New Delhi: Earlier this week, a woman, who is fighting a legal battle seeking custody of her minor nephew from his Egyptian father, got some relief from the Supreme Court which directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to pursue the issuance of a red corner notice against the father, who flouted court orders and fled to Egypt. The maternal aunt has alleged that the father committed paedophilic acts with the child and absconded with him from India in February 2020, and they are untraceable so far.
A bench comprising Justices D.Y. Chandrachud, Surya Kant, and Vikram Nath said: “We direct that the CBI be impleaded as a party to these proceedings. Notice shall issue to the CBI. The CBI shall issue a Red Corner Notice to secure the presence of the first respondent, who is a foreign national.”
During the hearing Justice Chandrachud told the other judges on the bench that it is a very sad story.
The sister of the petitioner died on April 17, 2019, soon after the birth of the child in Pune. The petitioner moved to Egypt along with the man to care for the newborn child. In the plea, she alleged that in August 2019 he made sexual advances to her, and also to her utter shock, she found out he had paedophilic tendencies towards the four-month-old baby. The petitioner along with the child returned to Pune in September 2019. She lodged a complaint in Pune stating she was sexually harassed by the Egyptian man, and he had also sexually harassed the child and also committed paedophilic acts on him.
Later, the father filed a habeas corpus plea before the Bombay High Court alleging that the maternal aunt and grandmother had illegal custody of his child. On January 30, 2020, the high court restored the custody of the child to his father and also allowed him to take the child to his working place in Abu Dhabi, after March 27, 2020.
The woman and her mother moved the top court challenging this order and alleged that on February 16, 2020, they received an email from the man stating he had taken the child with him to Egypt. The petitioners said the man was required to bring the child to India as per the high court’s direction, four times in a year, but this has been breached. Also, the petitioners could not access the child via video conferencing.
The petitioners submitted in the top court that the child’s father is highly temperamental, domineering, and paedophilic and has several obsessive-compulsive disorders, and it is not safe to leave the child in his custody. The petitioners sought a direction to the CBI to bring back the child to India. In March 2021, the top court issued a bailable warrant against the Egyptian man for violating the custodial orders of his son passed by the high court. The top court also requested the Indian embassy to use its good offices to ensure that access is provided to the petitioners on a video conferencing platform to converse with the child.
Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati and advocate Aakansha Kaul, representing the Centre, informed the court that efforts were made to contact the man through the Indian Embassy at Cairo but he continues to be untraceable. Bhati contended that a red corner notice can be issued against the Egyptian national.
The counsel, representing the maternal aunt and grandmother of the child, said he had committed contempt of court by flouting the court orders.