HC allows man who killed wife to see daughter but not meet

Prashant chavan

Poignant scenes were witnessed in the Bombay High Court today when a man serving life term for killing his wife was allowed to have a glimpse of his daughter, who does not know him, but not meet her.

39-year-old Prashant Chavan, out on parole, was permitted by the Bombay High Court to have a look at his little daughter, being raised by her maternal uncle and aunt, on compassionate grounds.

As directed by a division bench, the girl was brought to the court today by her uncle and aunt and called inside the chambers of Justices N H Patil and A R Joshi as her father stood outside, watching wistfully.

Chavan, who was convicted in 2005 for killing his wife a year before, had filed a Habeas Corpus petition in the High Court urging that he be allowed just to have a look at his daughter if not permitted to meet her.

He had pleaded that her daughter was just 18 months old when he was sent to jail in 2005 after a lower court held him guilty of killing his wife. Since then he had not met his daughter and wanted to interact with her and know about her. However, the girl's maternal uncle contended that the child did not know about father serving jail term for killing her mother and she believed that her uncle and aunt were her real parents.

They argued that the truth, if revealed, could shatter the little girl.

Accepting the uncle's argument, the court had ruled yesterday that Chavan would be allowed to see his daughter but restrained him from meeting or talking to her.

The judges today disposed of the petition saying the purpose had been served as the father had seen the girl. They also told the convict that she was being raised by her uncle and aunt very well and that the girl considered them as her parents and seemed to be very happy with life.

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