New Delhi: Jebunissa lost her three-year-old child in the Gulbarg society massacre during the 2002 Godhra riots.
However, six-years later, she has come to know that her child is alive but Zebrunisa's son Muzaffer now calls himself Vivek and lives with a Hindu family. He doesn't even recognise his biological family.
"For six-years I have lived but now that I know he is alive, I can’t live without him now,” says biological mother, Zebunissa.
A lower court in Gujarat handed over Muzaffer's custody to his foster parents. Meanwhile, the court's order has the legal community divided. While some say it is unfair to the biological parents since the DNA tests prove their claim but others differ.
"I would have never been the judge in this case, since it is a difficult call. But u can’t really decide based on a child's opinion. He can be tutored," says advocate, Kirti Singh Naraula.
Meanwhile on the other hand, advocate KTS Tulsi says, “The welfare of the child is what matters and at nine-years of age, his opinion is crucial.”
The Hindu minority and Guardianship act 1956 says, "The welfare of the child is of paramount consideration. Welfare includes both physical and moral well-being”
However, Muzaffer, born in a Muslim family can be governed by the Muslim guardianship law, according to which, the father is always the natural guardian.
The law says welfare of the child is paramount, however can the High Court then come up with a way to secure the interest of foster parents, biological parents and the child is a question that many ask.