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Edhi centre told to give Abdullah in his grandmother’s custody

Edhi centre told to give Abdullah in his grandmother’s custody

KARACHI: A family court directed the Edhi Foundation on Friday to hand over the custody of a minor boy, admitted to the charity centre since the mysterious death of his mother, to his maternal grandmother after his father raised no objection to it.

The court ruled that the father of around three-year-old Abdullah was always at liberty to meet his son.

The partially decomposed body of Haleema, mother of Abdullah, was found in her Delhi Colony flat on May 31 while her son was admitted to the Edhi Centre on May 25 by Rizwan Ayaz Khan, the main suspect in the murder case, who said the child was found abandoned near Do Darya off Seaview beach.

Rizwan and his wife, Sonia, have already been remanded to prison and the case is pending trial before a sessions court.

Chaudhry Mohammad Iqbal, father of Abdullah, moved an application in May under Section 25 of the Guardian and Ward Act, 1890 seeking the custody of the child.

Initially, the applicant also submitted no-objection certificates on behalf of the child’s maternal grandmother, Bibi Shamim, and an uncle about his custody.

However, after withdrawing her NOC Ms Shamim became an intervener last week and sought the custody of the child submitting that she could better take care of the boy. The father of the child withdrew his application for custody of his son and submitted that he had no objection if the custody was handed over to the intervener.

On the previous hearing, the National Database and Registration Authority had informed the court that the marriage certificate of Mr Iqbal and Haleema was verified and it was found authentic.

On Friday, after hearing arguments of lawyers for the intervener and the Edhi Foundation, the judicial magistrate and family judge (south) Saifullah Phulpoto directed the charity organisation to hand over the custody of Abdullah to Ms Shamim and submit a compliance report before the court.

The court ruled that the charity organisation was providing shelter and care to the orphans while the child was neither an orphan nor homeless.

It added that the decision was taken in the prime interest and welfare of the child since the intervener would give affection and love to him.

The court directed Ms Shamim to make sure that the child was brought up properly and his custody would not be given to anyone without the court’s permission.

The intervener was also asked to produce Abdullah before the court every year or when required by the court to ensure that he was being brought up properly.

The court said that there was no restriction on Mr Iqbal in meeting his son.

Published in Dawn, July 30th, 2016

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