The Ministry of External Affairs submitted a status report to a division bench headed by Justice S B Shukre on Tuesday which was hearing a petition filed by Nadiadwala seeking a direction to the government to facilitate the safe return of his two children a 9-year-old son and a 6-year-old daughter from Pakistan
Bombay High Court. File Pic
The Central government has told the Bombay High Court that it had sought details from the Pakistan government on the whereabouts of two minor children of film producer Mushtaq Nadiadwala on his claim that they were detained in that country by his Pakistani wife since 2020, but is yet to receive any response.
The Ministry of External Affairs submitted a status report to a division bench headed by Justice S B Shukre on Tuesday which was hearing a petition filed by Nadiadwala seeking a direction to the government to facilitate the safe return of his two children a 9-year-old son and a 6-year-old daughter from Pakistan.
As per the status report, the Indian government, through its High Commission in Islamabad, in September 2022 requested the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, to provide immediate consular access to the two minor children of Nadiadwala.
The Indian government also sought the Pakistan government to provide details of the children's whereabouts and the status of their visas and citizenship. The report claimed that two reminders were also sent in October 2022 and in February 2023.
The response to the three notes issued by the High Commission of India (in) Islamabad has not been received from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Pakistan, till date, the report said.
It added that another reminder was sent on March 13, 2023, to the Pakistan government to provide immediate consular access to the two children of the petitioner and provide details of their passports, visas and if any application for change of citizenship had been submitted with Pakistan authorities.
The government of India through its High Commission in Islamabad is following up the matter with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Pakistan, for obtaining the details/whereabouts of the two minor children and will continue to pursue the matter with the Government of Pakistan, the report said.
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The high court posted the matter for hearing on March 28.
Nadiadwala in his plea alleged that his children have been illegally detained in Pakistan by his wife Maryam Chaudhary and her family. He claimed Maryam refused to return to India and also refused to provide any plausible reason for deserting him.
As per the petition, Nadiadwala married Maryam in April 2012 in Pakistan after she moved to India and applied for Indian citizenship. The couple then had two children.
In November 2020, Maryam left India for Pakistan along with the two children.
In February 2021, she filed a guardianship petition in Lahore seeking to be appointed as the lawful guardian of the two children which was accepted by the court there. Nadiadwala alleged his wife might have been brainwashed or coerced to extend her stay in Pakistan.
"The illegal retention of the children in Pakistan is not only in gross derogation of immigration laws of both countries but is also predominantly contrary to the general well-being and upbringing of the children," the petition said.
It further said Maryam's family members are influential people in Pakistan.
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