Delhi HC lauds efforts of Muslim couple to raise Hindu orphans


The Delhi high court praised a Muslim couple’s effort to raise two Hindu orphans ‘Ayush and Prarthana’ and termed the effort as a “noble effort “.

HC recently appointed Mohd Shahnawaz Zaheer, a commercial pilot, as the guardian of the twins under the Hindu Minority & Guardianship Act.

“In a time when no one bothers to take care of orphans, we salute the efforts of Mohd Shahnawaz Zaheer though the couple in not benefited with anything”, Said Justice Waziri.

“Taking care of orphaned children who are in urgent need of foster care and the protection of their interests is among the noblest of human endeavours,” Justice Waziri added.

According to media reports, the orphans lost their mother and pilot father in 2012 and were at the mercy of the family driver who took care of their basic needs. Though their father Praveen Dayal extracted a promise from Zaheer that he will take care of the twins, the latter remained unsure as cousins and distant relatives of Dayals allegedly laid claim on the twins.

Zaheer did not move forward as relatives of the orphans claimed their rights over the twins, till he got a call from the sobbing kids complaining of ill-treatment. Zaheer then filed a suit under the Guardianship Act, urging the court to give legal approval to his role as a guardian.

In his plea, Zaheer informed HC that during the critical phase of Dayal illness, Praveen Dayal requested him to take care of the children. He also placed on record a statement by Dayal’s brother saying he has full faith in Zaheer for discharging the duty of guardianship of the children.

Zaheer also made sure that the children received Hindu religious instructions and can visit temple for prayers. “I don’t want them to ever convert. They will be raised as Hindus,” he said.

The twins bonding well with the family. Zaheer said, “The HC order streamlined everything to allow the twins to integrate with us. Ayush and Prarthana are the cynosure of my Parent eyes. Since the court appointed me as guardian, now they will get a passport and can travel abroad with us.”

Justice Najmi Waziri also approved a Trust set up in the name of the siblings, where the Indian Commercial Pilots Association and other well-wishers have contributed over Rs 1 crore. By virtue, the entire estate and remaining wealth of the dead parents will automatically go to the Trust and not to the guardian.