‘You’re not a doc, but a criminal guilty of bigamy’
HC warns doctor who married second time without divorcing first wife that suo motu action can be taken against him
Posted On Thursday, August 04, 2011 at 10:41:52 PM
Dr Jahnavi Mishra (30) filed a habeas corpus for her missing four-year-old son, Gaurav, in the High Court of Karnataka on July 20. Acting on the court’s order, the police presented the child, along with his father, Dr Anuj Mishra, before the division bench of Justice N Ananda and Justice V Suri Appa Rao on Thursday. What followed was an embarrassing family drama which made a livid bench tell Arun, “You are not a doctor. You are a criminal…”
Jahnavi is from Bangalore and Anuj from Delhi. They met while both were practising in Libya, and tied the knot there in 2006. Returning to India a few weeks later, they married again at the Gandhinagar sub-registrar’s office in Bangalore.
Jahnavi went for higher education in the UK, leaving Gaurav with Anuj. She returned earlier this year, and the three started living together again.
But after a few months, on July 15, Anuj left home with Gaurav, leaving behind a note that said he was taking the child to Chennai. Jahnavi waited a few days expecting him to return, then moved the high court.
On Thursday, when Anuj and Gaurav were presented in the court by the police, Justice Ananda and Justice Appa Rao said that the child should be returned to Jahnavi. After ascertaining that the child’s age was four years and four months, the bench said, “We cannot go against the law. A mother is the best person to know what is good and what is bad for a child.”
Taken aback, the bench lashed out at Arun: “We do not understand this. What type of a combination is this? It was a joke for us, the American saying, ‘Your child and my child are playing with our child.’ Now, we are seeing it in front of our eyes in the courtroom. What is your lifestyle? You have committed bigamy. I wonder if you have even brought your first wife to court.”
When Anuj’s counsel tried to interrupt and blame Jahnavi for the situation, the court said, “It is not just you and me who are watching this. The entire audience in the court is watching. We are confused. What sort of merits are you talking about?” Anuj’s first wife, Bineeta, tried to speak, but the bench stopped her, saying, “You are fortunate we have not asked you to leave the court.”
The court then asked Jahnavi, “Six years ago, did you not realise he was already married?” She requested the bench for Gaurav’s custody for life. “You are the mother. You can keep the child in whatever manner you want,” the judges said.
Seeing this, the judges said, “The child is attached to the father. This is the first time we are seeing that a child is not even looking at the mother… We have never come across such a case.”
Considering the extraordinary situation, the court ordered the investigation officer of the case, inspector Ratnakar Shetty, to take the husband, wife and child for counselling at the Child Counselling Centre, Infantry Road. “It won’t be sorted out in one counselling. You have to take them thrice,” the court told the cop.