The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Battle rages around baby

New Delhi, Aug. 24: More dirty linen tumbled out of Karisma Kapoor’s marriage today with her husband telling court she had walked out of his home with the baby, “unfairly denying me and our daughter each other’s love and affection”.

Replying to Karisma’s charge that he was using five-month-old Samaira as a pawn to settle his grudges, Sanjay Kapur told Delhi High Court she had “deliberately urged fabricated and false matrimonial issues” to side-track the real one.

The public mudslinging between the couple had started when Sanjay filed a writ petition to restrain Karisma from taking Samaira abroad. He claimed the baby’s passport had been issued without his sanction.

Today, he appealed to the court to appoint him Samaira’s “next friend” for the court proceedings and make her a co-petitioner. As he was her natural guardian, he was responsible for and entitled to take all decisions on her behalf, he said.

“My wife has been deliberately and without any reason depriving our minor daughter of my care and company. Our minor daughter deserves and is entitled to the love and care of both her parents equally.”

Stung with Karisma’s allegation that he had no role in bringing up the baby, Sanjay said it was surprising she wanted to cart the five-month-old all the way to the US and expose her to the “needless trauma of long distance travel and jetlag”.

“Moreover, obviously the respondent would have had no time for the minor child if she was going to be marching on the streets of New York.”

Sanjay said given Karisma’s claim that she was still nursing the baby, it boggled one’s mind how she would do so “while attending a Bollywood night, attending a grand dinner in Royal Albert Place or marching in a parade”.

As she would be away from the child for long hours, “this gruelling ordeal would seriously jeopardise the health and emotional well-being of our daughter”. He added that “the best interest of the child can be defended only by me”.

He expressed shock that Karisma had released her affidavit to the media. “The only intention of such improper course of action can be to prejudice the case of the petitioner and seek to influence public opinion,” he alleged.

He appealed to the court to conduct the proceedings in-camera. The application will come up for hearing on Friday.

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