Biological father taking away child is not kidnapping, MEA tells court

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(Agencies) MUMBAI: A man cannot be charged with kidnapping his child, the external affairs ministry and the CBI informed the Bombay high court on Tuesday. Mumbai businessman’s plea challenging a request from the Netherlands to India to extradite him for “abducting his daughter” from Amsterdam following a complaint by his estranged Dutch wife. The MEA told the court it had rejected the Dutch government’s request to arrest and extradite Sajid Shah*. His estranged wife Nazneen* had filed a criminal complaint against him after he brought their two-year-old daughter back to India in September 2016. She accused Sajid of “violently kidnapping their daughter” from her house. Nazneen also launched an online campaign for the child’s return. An Interpol notice was subsequently issued for Sajid’s arrest, following which the Netherlands government approached the Indian authorities. Advocate Hiten Venegaonkar, the Centre’s counsel, submitted in court an affidavit filed by the CBI along with aletter from the MEA. “Since the taking away of a child by her biological father does not amount to kidnapping, it is not an extraditable offence,” B P Bagchi, assistant director, National Central Bureau, CBI, said in his affidavit. “The MEA, in its May 5, 2017, letter, rejected the extradition request. In view of the above, Sajid shall not be arrested and no coercive steps will be taken against him and his daughter, the officer added. Nazneen and Sajid met in Amsterdam in 2010, during an Indian film award event, and got married in 2011. Nazneen said Sajid’s behaviour changed after marriage. She gave birth to their daughter in 2014. After the couple separated, a Dutch court awarded Nazneen their daughter’s custody in 2016. A few months later, Sajid abducted their daughter, she alleged. Nazneen’s story went viral after it was shared on the ‘Humans of Amsterdam’ Facebook pageMeanwhile, Sajid filed a divorce and custody petition before the Bandra family court. Sajid claimed he was trying to protect his daughter from his “abusive wife”.