London: An Indian-origin mother has been barred from visiting India along with her six-year-old son by a British family court after her ex-husband expressed fear that she might not return.

The Indian-born woman, who is in her 30s and cannot be named for legal reasons, insisted she had absolutely no intention of abducting her son and simply wanted to take him to meet his extended family and "explore his cultural roots". But Judge Clifford Bellamy ruled in favour of the father, also in his 30s and who was born in Leicester.

The mother has lived in the city for nine years since their arranged marriage but is now living alone with her son, according to a report in the local 'Leicester Mercury' newspaper. The city's Family Court heard that the father was engaged in a running battle with his ex-wife over contact with their little boy.

All three now have UK passports. Judge Bellamy said India had not signed up to the Hague Convention which enshrines the international ban on child abduction. If the mother failed to return to Britain with his son, the father would face a formidable challenge fighting his case through the Indian courts, the court was told. Blocking her holiday plans, the judge said there was "a risk" that she might try to keep her son in India.