Children to spend another night with their mother

There were dramatic developments in the Calcutta High Court on Wednesday in the case involving custody of the Bhattacharya children, with the court deciding that they will spend another night with their mother, Sagarika Chakraborty.

The court is expected to pass an order on Thursday, two days after the children were handed over to Ms. Chakraborty on the basis of an order passed by the Child Welfare Committee (CWC), Burdwan, in November last year.

The children were placed in the custody of their uncle Arunabhas Bhattacharya in April last year, after they were taken away by the Child Welfare Services in Norway.

“Let the children stay with their mother for today [Wednesday]. I will pass the order tomorrow… Give me some time to study the case,” Justice Dipankar Dutta said.Justice Dutta on Tuesday directed the children be returned to their uncle, hours after they were handed over to Ms. Chakraborty.

However, since they were not returned to Dr. Bhattacharya, his counsel sought an arrest warrant against Ms. Chakraborty for withholding custody of the children.

Later, the children were brought to the court. Justice Dutta heard the case in camera and spoke to Ms. Chakraborty and Dr. Bhattacharya. He reserved the order for Thursday.

The matter was raised in the Calcutta High Court by Ms. Chakraborty, who prayed before the court that the order of the CWC, Burdwan, be complied with and the children handed over to her.

The children were taken away from the Bhattacharya residence at Kulti on Tuesday morning. This was followed by developments at the court when it criticised the police and directed that the children be returned to Dr. Bhattacharya.

Dr. Bhattacharya told The Hindu that he spent all night on Tuesday trying to trace the children, but Ms. Chakraborty and her parents could neither be contacted on telephone nor found at either of their residences in the city.

The Bhattacharya children had come under the media glare when they were taken away by the Norwegian Child Welfare Services in May 2011. After an agreement was signed between the parents and Dr. Bhattacharya, the children were handed over to him by a court in Norway. He was given the custody of children in April, 2012 and they were brought back to India.