Unlike his wife, Rudolph flew down from the Gulf more than a dozen times to attend hearings. After 13 years, he was rewarded when the court allowed him visitation rights to see his son. But in-laws came in the way, following which he has filed contempt against them in HC
After a series of legal battles which involved flying down from Kuwait several times, Rudolph D’Souza was excited about meeting his son for the first time in 13 years. As ordered by the court, he had deposited Rs 10 lakh in his son’s name and had even surrendered his passport. But when he went to meet his son on the court-ordered date, his in-laws allegedly prevented him. On Friday, he filed a contempt of court case against them in the HC.
Rudolph got married in Udupi in 1997 and the couple had a son the following year. However, the family broke up within two years. His wife filed a case against him under Section 498(A) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), alleging cruelty. In 2000, she left him taking her son along. The couple were living in Thane then and the case against him was filed there. She left their son with her parents in Udupi and moved to Dubai to work. A divorce case also came up between the couple. Rudolph filed a case for visitation rights and custody of the child. However, since the child was less than five years old, his plea was dismissed.
Rudolph, a server systems administrator, also moved to Abu Dhabi for work. Two years later, his job took him to Kuwait. However, his trouble in India was just beginning. Rudolph continued to visit India to attend the cruelty case against him in Thane. While he attended court at least 14 times, his wife did not attend a single hearing. However, the case is still pending. He was lucky in the divorce case though. His wife did not attend any hearing in this case and in 2008, the court granted an ex-parte decree in his favour. In 2003, after his son turned five years old, Rudolph sought visitation rights and custody through another case.
In 2007, a lower court in Udupi dismissed his case. Rudolph appealed in the High Court. His in-laws represented his former wife as the child was in their custody. In 2011, Rudolph was granted visitation rights but his in laws did not allow him to see the child. He sought to modify the order to grant him visitation again. On November 21, the court gave him visitation rights. Rudolph did not have leave during Christmas but sought to meet his son on his birthday on January 26 to which the court agreed. Rudolph had 10 days of leave, starting January 24, 2013. Rudolph also paid Rs 3,000 for his father-in-law to travel to Bangalore to attend the case.
His in-laws told the court that they would not create any impediments for Rudolph to visit his son. The court in its order said,”We can only hope that with more visitations and contact, the problems between the families shall evaporate.” Rudolph was allowed to visit his son on his birthday between 10.30 am and 3 pm and for one hour each on alternate days till he was in India.
Rudolph was asked to deposit Rs.10 lakh(1 Million) in a fixed deposit in his son’s name and his former wife made the nominee. For the period of his stay, he was asked to surrender his passport in the jurisdictional police station. Rudolph complied and eagerly went to meet his son on January 26. He said, “I have not met my son for 13 years. He does not even know my name. When I went on January 26, I was asked by my in-laws to show proof. The court order was not proof enough. They wanted me to give surety before taking my son out. They wanted the police to accompany me. In the end, I was not allowed to meet my son at all. That is the reason I filed the contempt petition today. I have had enough.”
Today i am in front of media, to show the world, how Indian Legal system doing injustice to men and Fathers, and in the name of Child forcing Fathers to give money to Women. I can afford to keep 1 million, what about ordinary person ? from where he will bring such a big amount, it shows Indian Legal system try hard to prevent every father from meeting his child, till Legal ransom is paid to Women” He exclaimed.