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Boy, 8, refuses to obey court
Vijay Singh in Mumbai | November 27, 2004 21:28 IST
Shrikrishna, 8, is not old enough to understand the import of court orders. But he couldn't care less. He just wants to live with his mother.
A family court in Pune had, on November 1, ordered that his custody be handed over to K R Ravishankar, his father, who separated from his mother Hema Suryanaraynan.
But Shrikrishna says he does not want to live with his father because he beats him often. "My mother loves me very much, and I also love her. So I want to stay with her."
The court ruled that as Hema, a lecturer in a Mumbai college, leaves the child in the care of her servant at her Goregaon residence while she is away at work, she cannot afford enough time to raise the child properly. On the other hand, Ravishankar's parents stay with him in Pune, and, hence, they can take care of Shrikrishna, even if his father is away from home on job. This would ensure a better upbringing of the child, the court said.
Hema lost her parents at an early age.
Hema approached the Supreme Court and obtained an interim stay against the order till November 21. When Ravishankar came to take the custody of the child on that day, Shrikrishna refused to go with him. Hema's relatives and neighbours ensured that the child was not taken away forcefully.
Shrikrishna is well aware of these developments, because he has visited the court hall seven times in connection with the argument on his custody.
He said he also sought the help of President A P J Abdul Kalam. "I had written an email and sent a telegram to the President and requested him to come to my house on November 21 for my help. Because that was the day my father was supposed to take me away with him. But I want to stay with my mother. I have not got any response from the President."
Ravishankar and Hema were married in 1994 and were staying in Pune. Hema alleged: "Despite being well-educated I remained a housewife. He was pressing me for dowry. He lost his jobs, first in Pune and then in Raipur (Chhattisgarh) in 1999. Then he started to press me to demand my share of my parents' property. And finally he threw me out of his house in 2000 accusing me of stealing things. I went to my in-laws, who lived nearby. I stayed there for a few days, but they also supported him. Then I shifted to Mumbai with my son."
In Mumbai, Hema cleared the State Eligibility Test examination in 2000 and got a job as a lecturer in a college affiliated to the Mumbai University.
Reacting to the court's ruling, Hema said, "Between being a mother and doing a job, I will like to remain a mother. Because Shrikrishna is everything to me. If my job deprives me of my son's custody, I will quit my job or take leave without pay." She says she is ready to fight a long battle for her son's custody.
Despite repeated attempts Ravishankar could not be contacted.
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