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SC Stays HC Proceedings against Cadila Pharma CEO Rajiv Modi in Child Custody Case

A bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant said the law is very clear that in child custody matters, cases can be filed under family law but not a habeas corpus petition.

PTI

Updated:December 13, 2019, 7:01 PM IST
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Supreme Court of India
File photo of the Supreme Court of India.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday stayed the proceedings before the Bombay High Court against Rajiv Modi, Chairman and CEO of Cadila Pharmaceuticals, on a petition filed by his estranged wife seeking custody of their 19-year-old son.

The top court questioned the woman for filing a habeas corpus (a writ requiring a person under arrest to be brought before a judge or into court) petition in a family matter.

A bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant said the law is very clear that in child custody matters, cases can be filed under family law but not a habeas corpus petition.

At the outset, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Modi said the High Court had on December 10 issued notice to his client on a habeas corpus petition and directed him to produce their son on December 13.

He sought a stay on proceedings and the High Court order.

Senior advocate A M Singhvi, appearing for Modi's estranged wife who has filed the habeas corpus petition before the high court, said that there is no harm in producing the child before the court.

He said their son is a 19-year-old and Modi should be asked to produce him before the court.

The bench said that it is not about the age of the child but about how a petition of habeas corpus can be entertained in a family dispute matter.

"You have ample remedy under the family law," the bench said while restraining the High Court from proceeding further in the matter.

It listed the matter for further hearing on December 18.

The High Court had passed the December 10 order while hearing a plea filed by the woman seeking a direction to Modi to produce their son in the court.

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