In the case of Md. Asif Ahammad v State of Andhra Pradesh The parties are controlled by Islamic law, therefore the father is legally responsible for raising any male offspring while they are minors. The mother can only ask for custody of such a child until he becomes seven. He was accused of abducting his two sons, who were in the care of their mother and were 10 and 8 years old, together with four other people. According to a recent ruling by the Andhra Pradesh High Court, a Muslim father taking his minor male children older than 7 years out of the mother’s custody does not constitute kidnapping because, according to Muslim law, he is the rightful guardian.
SUBMISSION FROM BOTH THE PARTIES
The petitioners’ attorney claimed that while the appellant’s mother was working at her office in Hyderabad, the father and the paternal uncle of the children had taken the children, who were around 8 and 10 years old, away from their maternal grandparents. Therefore, a parent removing his children falls under the definition of kidnapping, making it a crime punishable under Section 363 IPC.
The defence attorney argued that even if these claims were proven to be accurate, the crime of abduction would not have been committed because the petitioners, as Sunni Muslims, are subject to the Sunni School of Mohammedan law. According to the same, since a father is their legal carer under Islamic law, stealing male children after the age of seven is not considered abduction.
ANALYSIS OF COURT DECISION
When dismissing the father’s kidnapping case, the single-judge Justice K Sreenivasa Reddy noted that “Under Mohammedan law, the mother is only entitled to the custody of her small child up to a specific age, and it is according to the sex of the child. She is not the natural guardian, that much is clear. The father alone, however, is the child’s natural protector. The mother’s right to custody of the children is not an unqualified one, nor is it superior to the right of a legal guardian. It is very obvious that the father alone took away the children from the de facto complainant’s parents’ custody.