Tuesday's in-camera hearing was attended by two Indian envoys, among others

The Stavanger District Court, hearing the matter of custody of the Bhattacharya children, is expected to give its verdict on April 23, according to a press release issued by the Stavanger Municipality on Wednesday.

Three-year-old Abhigyan and one-year-old Aishwarya were taken away from their parents after the Norwegian Child Welfare Services (CWS) had deemed the parents ill-equipped for care-giving.

The court heard arguments presented by the CWS lawyers and the parents, Anurup and Sagarika Bhattacharya, on Tuesday during an in-camera hearing. The Indian government had sent two special envoys to the hearing, which was also attended by India's Ambassador to Norway, R.K. Tyagi.

“The CWS has, on the basis of an expert assessment, concluded that it is in the children's best interests that they return home to India with their uncle,” said the release.

If the verdict is given in favour of returning the children to the family, Abhigyan and Aishwarya are expected to be handed over to their uncle, Arunabhash Bhattacharya.

The CWS and the parents have submitted a joint claim to the court stating that “there is agreement that the conditions for the children being taken into care have been met.”

The claim also says there is no need to uphold the “care order” as “the measures taken are considered to be sufficient in that the uncle is to take over the care of the children.”

The children were taken away from the custody of their parents in May last year. In November, the County Committee for Social Affairs held an in-camera hearing on the matter and decided that the children should be handed over to foster care till they attained majority, and the parents would be allowed to meet them for an hour thrice a year.

The Bhattacharyas had appealed against this decision in the Stavanger District Court.