The family court on Monday adjourned the hearing on the plea for visitation rights by Pascal Mazurier (39), the French Consulate official accused last year of sexually abusing his daughter, then three-and-a-half years old.
The case will be heard by the same court on February 2. Mr. Mazurier, who was granted conditional bail in October by the High Court of Karnataka, has applied for visitation rights of his three children, who are now in the care of his wife Suja Jones (37). The high-profile case has seen emotions run high in the family court, where Mr. Mazurier has accused Ms. Jones of fabricating the case against him and putting his children to risk.
Ms. Jones’s counsel told The Hindu that his client objected to the plea, primarily on the ground that the bail order clearly states that the accused must not tamper with evidence.
In June, Ms. Jones had filed an injunction to remove custody of children for her “husband or anyone through him (his parents or the consulate)”.
The hearing pertains to an injunction plea by Mr. Mazurier appealing that his wife not be allowed to take the children outside the city.
Ms. Jones alleges that her husband has been misrepresenting the case in the family court, where he has argued that he enjoys diplomatic immunity. In fact, documents from the Ministry of External Affairs and the French Embassy, copies of which are with The Hindu, clearly state that he doesn’t.
A very senior official from the French Consulate in Bangalore attended the hearing on Monday, Ms. Jones said. This, she says can be interpreted as a token of support for the accused. “This can pressure the court and help my husband get custody of my children, despite his being charge-sheeted by the State in such a serious crime,” she said.
The French Consulate here could not be reached for comment.