Difference between revisions of "Surya Vadanan vs State of Tamilnadu&ors 27 February 2015"

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In the Supreme Court of India

                                                        Criminal appeal no. 395 of 2015
                                                        Petitioner name – Surya Vadanan
                                                        Bench – Madan B. Lokur, Uday Umesh Lalit

In this case the question arises when Madras High Court refused to issue a Writ Habeas Corpus for the production of the children of Surya and Mayura Vadanan. The appellant Surya wanted to take the children with him to the U.K. since they were the wards of the U.K. court and enable the court to decide the issue of the custody of their children because Mayura has filed a divorce petition in the Family Court of Coimbatore.[1]

Facts of the case

Surya Vadanan and Mayura were married in Chennai in 2000. At the time of marriage, Mayura was a citizen of India. In March 2000, she joined her husband Surya in U.K. who is the resident and citizen of U.K. In 2004, A girl child (Sneha Lakshmi) was born to the couple. In 2008, Another girl child (Kamini Lakshmi) was born to the couple. Both are British citizen by birth.

In 2012, Surya and Mayura started having matrimonial problems so, Mayura left U.K. along with her daughters and started living with her parents in Coimbatore. On 23 aug.2012, Mayura filed a petition of divorce under section 13(1) (i-a) of Hindu Marriage Act in the Family Court of Coimbatore. According to Surya, he was unaware about the divorce petition filed by mayura.

On 27 August. 2012, he came to Coimbatore with a view to resolve the differences with Mayura. It appeared that their daughters were not likely to return to U.K. so, Surya returned to U.K. on 6th September. 2012. On 16th October 2012 he received a summon from Family Court for the appearance in the divorce petition filed by Mayura. Surya also decided to take a legal action on 8th November 2012, he filed petition in High Court of Justice in U.K. for making the children as wards of the Court of U.K. he has also attached the documents related to the paid fees of their daughters in the U.K. school.

On 13 November 2012, HC of Justice of U.K. passed the order making the wards of the court and requiring Mayura to return the children to the jurisdiction of the foreign court. Since Mayura was not complying with the orders passed by the foreign court then surya filed a Writ Petition of Habeas Corpus in the Madras high court in February 2013, Stating that Mayura had illegal custody of of the two daughters.

Petition of Surya was heard by the High Court on 4 November 2013. By the order of HC, the writ petition was dismissed on these following reasons-

High court stated that welfare of the children was the important consideration since, the children were in the custody of Mayura she is their legal guardian. Surya was not satisfied with the decision of HC of Madras, he preferred to appeal in the supreme court on or before 9 April 2014.

Discussion of the facts

Surya and his family are the citizens of U.K. their children were also brought up and born in U.K. also Mayura has not taken any steps to give up the citizenship of the foreign country. There is no reason that why the court of India should not encourage her and the children to submit the jurisdiction of the foreign court which has the most intimate contact with them.

Decision of the court

SC held that family court has no jurisdiction over the matter of the custody of the children since they are both British citizens. As foreign court has not passed any final order regarding the custody of children inquiry to be conducted by the foreign court which has closest concern with the children. SC directs that Mayura will take the children to the U.K. during vacations and complying with the orders dated on 20 November 2012 and participates in the proceedings (if she so wishes) of high court of U.K. Surya will pay all the expenses of air fare and maintenance to Mayura. If Mayura does not comply with the decision given by the court, Surya vadanan will entitled to take the children.

The appeal is disposed of on the above terms.