Hyderabad: Legal experts gave a new twist to the battle for the custody of Sania, 6, between the families of her father Rupesh Kumar Mohnani and his Congolese wife Cynthia Vechel, saying that Indian laws do not apply as she is a citizen of Congo.
Though her father is an Indian citizen, Sania was born in Congo and her custody case cannot be tried here, they said. The external affairs ministry has to get involved for an amicable solution.
According to senior advocates, the couple was married in Congo and Sania was born there. If the marriage was registered in India, Indian laws would apply to the child.
“Since that was not done and if she and her mother held Congolese passports, the issue should be taken up by the external affairs ministry with the Congo embassy to process the custody issue,” a senior High Court advocate said. Till then no family member can claim her custody.
Advocate Jaya Vindhyala added that if the marriage was not registered in India, even the murder case should be transferred to Congo through Interpol for further investigation. “The question arises about their stay here and the issue can be sorted out by the two governments” she said.
Police said the custody issue in connection with the marriage would arise later.
“Our priority is to ensure safe custody for the girl, where she can recover from the trauma.” said Shamshabad ACP Dr Anuradha.
Sources said Cynthia and Sania were staying on visit visas since 2012 which were being renewed. Cynthia’s visa expired a couple of weeks ago....