The Madras High Court on Tuesday took up the role of a parent for 37-year-old Manoj Rajan, a differently abled man whose life and property were in danger.
Justice PN Prakash invoked the doctrine of Loco Parentis after Manoj was allegedly abducted by his former wife for his property.
Image credit: Yoga Balaji (From a Digital Camera (Nikon)) [GFDL or CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Loco Parentis is Latin for “in the place of a parent” and is used to define the legal option that a person or organization has to take some responsibilities of a parent for another person or organization.
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Manoj was born in 1979 with congenital speech and hearing impairment, and mental disabilities. After his mother Lissie Rajan died when he was 14, his father E J Rajan put him in a special school. At the age of 29 he was married to Priya Darshini, who later divorced him on the ground that Manoj was suffering from serious mental illness. She also received a permanent alimony of Rs. 4 lakh. But in 2013, she tried to take over Manoj’s custody after his father’s death.
His father had left behind his estate and all his property to his only son. And he had left Manoj’s custody with his friends and charted accountant Ananth, who made arrangements for Manoj to stay in a special home in Gudalur, Nilgiris. On failing to take over his custody, Priya allegedly abducted him from the special home and married him once again before a pastor, so she would be able to get hold of his property. On the day of his marriage, Manoj’s property worth Rs. 1.6 crore was sold.
Justice P.N. Prakash sensed foul play after Manoj was abducted. The police was summoned on his orders and Manoj was traced in Chennai.
He has now been shifted to a home near Madurai and Justice Prakash has assigned security for him. He has also ordered a CB-CID enquiry into the abduction, the alleged re-marriage, and transfer of property. He spoke about foul play at every level of the case – how the Gudalur police did not register an abduction case; the pastor ‘solemnized’ the second wedding without following any rules; and sub-registrar allowed the sale of property breaking many rules. He has ensured safety of all property belonging to Manoj.
News source: The Times of India