Bench gives nod to grandparentsto take her
The Madras High Court Bench here on Thursday directed the maternal and paternal grandparents of a five-year-old Mexican girl child, whose father was arrested by the Madurai district police recently on charges of murdering her mother, to resolve the dispute between them over taking custody of the child by initiating appropriate proceedings before a court in their country.
A Division Bench of Justices S. Rajeswaran and M. Vijayaraghavan passed the order while disposing of a habeas corpus petition filed by the maternal grandmother Cecile Mireille Reynaud Pulido (55), a Mexican national. However, they gave liberty to the paternal grandmother to have interim custody of the child until she was taken from India to Mexico. The maternal grandmother was given visitation rights.
The judges appreciated Gloria Garcia Repper, an officer from the Embassy of Mexico in New Delhi, for the assistance rendered by her in disposing of the HCP and requested her to take necessary steps in taking the child to her homeland. The police had admitted the kid in a private home for destitute children here after her mother was murdered and father arrested and lodged at Central Prison in Puzhal, Chennai.
During arguments, the counsel appearing for the maternal as well as paternal grandparents insisted on taking custody of the child on the basis of an agreement reached between the estranged couple, who had begotten the child through a live-in relationship in Mexico in 2007, that they would share the custody of the child on a yearly basis as she would live with the father for a year and the mother for another year.
However, Mr. Justice Rajeswaran said that the agreement could not be given effect to at present as “one of the parties to the agreement is dead and the other is behind bars.”
Initially, the judges suggested that the child could be handed over to the Mexican Embassy for ensuring that she was flown to her country and kept in a government home there until the relatives sorted out the dispute in a court of law there.
Stating that it would not be desirable for the child to be kept in a home, D. Geetha, counsel for the maternal grandmother, agreed to the arrangement of the child being handed over to the paternal grandmother until she was taken to Mexico and a case filed there seeking guardianship rights. She only insisted on providing visitation rights to the maternal grandmother.
The child's father Martin Manrique Mansour was a post doctoral research scholar at Kalasalingam University in Krishnankovil of Virudhunagar district. He was living in a residential quarters within the university campus along with his daughter. The kid's mother Cecile Denise Acosta Reynaud was learning Mohiniyattam (a genre of dance) at the Kerala Kalamandalam Deemed University for Art and Culture.
According to the police, there was a quarrel between the couple on April 4 over taking care of the child. Then, Mansour murdered Ms. Denise Acosta and abandoned her charred body near Nilayoor water body falling within the jurisdiction of Austinpatti police station next to Tirupparankundram near here on April 11. The accused was arrested on April 18.