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Punjab and Haryana HC imposes a cost of Rs 50,000 on a son who stays abroad for past 40 years but wants custody of 85 year old father staying with other two sons

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Chandigarh Sept 17 (ILNS) The Punjab and Haryana High Court recently imposed a cost of rs 50,000 on a son who stays abroad for past 40 years but wants custody of 85 year old father staying with other two sons on his own will.

The Court while observing that very old man very obviously was being unnecessarily harassed, dismissed a Habeas Corpus Petition with a Cost of Rs.50,000/- to be paid by the Petitioner to the alleged “detenue” (Father)/

The Petitioner Jaswant Brar filed a Petition to produce his father Sadhu Singh aged about 85 years in the court, saying that he has been illegally detained by Private Respondents(Other two brothers) and sought his custody on the grounds to provide medical treatment to save his life.

On February 26, 2020 the court directed the Private Respondents to produce the father, the alleged detenue, Sadhu Singh, in court on April 17,2020. The matter could not come up for hearing till July 2, 2021 on account of ongoing pandemic so, the father was directed to be present via video conferencing on the next date of hearing.

On September 09, 2021, Sadhu Singh was produced before the Court.

A Single Bench of Justice Amol Rattan Singh noted that Sadhu Singh seems to be a very old man and upon query to him, he stated that he is about 80 years old.

questions were put to Sahu Singh as to where he stays and with whom, upon which he stated that he lives in village Darapur, District Moga, with his sons, Kulwant Singh and Omkar Singh (Private Respondents).

Sadhu singh was again asked, whether he is living there of his own will or is being forced to reside there, Sadhu Singh stated twice before the Court that he is staying there on his own will, wholly voluntarily.

The High Court further noted that petition is one filed by the third son who is living abroad most of the time in England/Germany, and is a German citizen.

Sadhu Singh was asked whether he wishes to live abroad with his son (Petitioner). To which he emphatically replied, “no”.

Sadhu Singh, being tired, sat down on the chairs kept in the last row of the court room and was unable to hear the questions put by the judge. The State counsel was asked to inquire from Sadhu Singh whether he is willing to stay with his son who is residing abroad. court, Sadhu Singh, who otherwise also seems to be slightly hard of hearing, but with all questions put to him he obviously understood it and replied accordingly before this court”.

An affidavit was also filed by the SSP, Moga, on February 26, 2020, stating that the inquiry was conducted and the Sadhu Singh was produced in the court of the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Moga, on February 03, 2020 for recording his statement under the provisions of Section 164 of the Cr.P.C wherein he categorically stated that he has three sons, namely Jaswant Singh, Omkar Singh and Kulwant Singh. Jaswant Singh, i.e. the petitioner, is residing abroad for the past about 40 years and that during that period he had never provided any daily necessities to him.

Sadhu Singh also stated before the court and also in his affidavit, that he was residing with his son Omkar Singh ‘with his own consent.’ The SSP also stated that the statements of other respectable persons of the locality were also recorded, and as per that inquiry it was found that Sadhu Singh was residing with Omkar Singh on his own accord and had never been detained by either Omkar Singh or Kulwant Singh, as has been alleged in the Petition.

The Court found no reason to continue with this Petition and consequently, dismissed the Petition with costs of Rs.50,000/- to be paid by the Petitioner to the alleged “detenue”, his father, Sadhu Singh, who has unnecessary been troubled to come, at his age, all the way to the High court, for no reason whatsoever.

“It may be observed here that though counsel for the Petitioner (appearing today) has stated that he wishes to withdraw the petition, yet, a very old man very obviously having been unnecessarily harassed, even if the Petitioner were to withdraw the petition, costs would still have been imposed by this court”, the order reads./ILNS/SS/SNG

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