Court Allows ‘Father’ To Meet Child In Edhi Centre

Court Allows ‘Father’ To Meet Child In Edhi Centre

A family court has allowed an applicant to meet a boy staying at the Edhi Centre after mysterious death of his mother, and adjourned the hearing on an application about his custody till July 14.

Chaudhry Mohammed Iqbal, claiming to be the father of around three-year-old Abdullah, through his lawyer had moved an application under Section 25 of the Guardian and Ward Act, 1890 seeking the custody of the child.

Impleading the Edhi Foundation as a respondent, the applicant submitted that being the father of Abdullah he was natural and legal guardian of the minor.

When the application came up for hearing before a family court (south), the counsel for the applicant submitted the marriage certificate of Mr Iqbal and Haleema and other documents. Responding to a court query, the applicant said he tied the knot with Haleema in 2007 and Abdullah was born in 2014.

However, the counsel for the Edhi Foundation asked the court for verification of the documents and also sought a deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) test to confirm the boy’s parenthood.

The court sought record from NADRA (National Database and Registration Authority) about the child and the reported marriage between the applicant and the deceased, by July 14. The judge ruled that the child would remain at the Edhi Centre till the final decision, but allowed the applicant to meet the boy twice a month (the first meeting was to be held on June 18).

Meanwhile, another court directed the police to submit an investigation report of the case.

The partially decomposed body of Haleema, mother of Abdullah, was found in her flat in Delhi Colony on May 31 while her son was admitted to the Edhi Centre by Rizwan Ayaz Khan, said to be the main suspect, on May 25 and he claimed that the child was found abandoned near Do Darya.

On previous hearings, the court had remanded Rizwan and his wife Sonia in prison and directed IO Sub Inspector Nasrullah to submit an investigation report on June 14. However, he was found absent on Tuesday.


Previously published in DAWN by Ishaq Tanoli and republished here with permission.