J&K woman sues IAS officer for abandoning her, child

Woman also says Lucknow-born IAS officer converted to Islam in order to marry her

SRINAGAR | Updated: 25 April, 2023 7:27 pm IST
Woman claimed she and IAS officer developed a relationship in 2010 when he was posted in Srinagar (Photo for representational purpose only)

The case of a Srinagar woman who sued an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, alleging him to be the father of her minor daughter, has caught the attention of the public.

The court of Second Additional Munsif, Srinagar, has directed IAS officer Sudhanshu Pandey to appear in person before it for recording the statement.

As per the woman’s plea in the court, an IAS officer posted in Kashmir converted to Islam, married her in May 2010 and during wedlock a daughter was born. Later, she alleged that she and the child were abandoned when the officer was transferred to the central deputation.

The Court of Second Additional Munsiff, Srinagar, issued fresh directions to defendant officer Sundhanshu Pandey, also referred to as Syed Sudhanshu in the petition, to appear in person for the recording of the statement and file in writing whether he consents if the court contemplates passing an order for the DNA test to check the parentage of the minor girl, said Mir Naveed Gul, the advocate representing the petitioner.

In another case filed in the High Court, wherein the woman demanded monthly maintenance on the same issue, Justice Sanjay Dhar had ordered last year for the parentage suit to be completed first in the lower court.

As per the filings in the court, it is learned that the woman had challenged an order passed by the Judicial Magistrate First Class (2nd Additional Munsiff), Srinagar, that deferred the proceedings till the outcome of the civil suit, in which the question of paternity of the petitioner is at issue.

In the petition, it was alleged that in 2010, when Pandey was holding the position of Finance Secretary in the Government of Jammu and Kashmir, he developed a relationship with a woman in Srinagar.

In May 2010, Pandey converted to Islam, whereupon he entered into wedlock with the woman. The woman pleads that their daughter was born on April 12, 2011, but a few months later, in October 2012, Pandey was transferred to New Delhi and he left the woman and minor in Srinagar.

As per the court documents, the woman also claimed to have visited the native place of the officer, in Uttar Pradesh’s Lucknow, where they came to know that Pandey was already a married man with two children and a practising Hindu. The marriage between the woman and Pandey was then dissolved by default.

However, Pandey has refuted all the allegations and denied marrying the woman. The allegations made in the petition are just a figment of the imagination and a device to scandalise his reputation and image, he responded in court.

“It is averred that in the civil suit, the mother of the petitioner has admitted that she had entered into wedlock with another person on August 1, 2010, which ended in divorce in October 2010,” Pandey responded in court. And that the minor was a child from the woman’s first marriage.

Both parties presented conflicting birth certificates and medical records for the child, with two different names for the father. Then the high court ordered the finalisation of the parentage suit first before passing any order for maintenance.

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