Sital Singh Bagi was a warrant officer in the Indian Air Force where he served for 26 years before his retirement in 1986. At the time of his discharge Mr. Bagi became concerned that terrorists were hunting for him, so rather than return home to this wife and children Bagi moved around India seeking safe havens. He did this for twelve years. During this time he never contacted his family.
In 1996 Bagi’s wife quite properly believed her husband was dead and sought a court order declaring him so. After the order was pronounced she began receiving her husband’s pension and title to his property.
Mr. Bagi decided to return home in 1998 but his wife refused to accept that he was her long-lost husband. The children also denied he was their father.
After a short time, Mr. Bagi learned his wife had petitioned the court and was now in receipt of his pension and his ancestral property. In 1999 Mr. Bagi challenged the court’s order declaring him dead, but made little progress.
Last week Mr. Bagi finally received the vindication he had sought since 1999 when a court reversed the order made in 1996. Bagi was able to recover his pension and his property.
But the case is not over. Bagi’s wife has brought an appeal against the new order, maintaining that her husband is deceased and that an imposter has fooled the court.
Meanwhile, Mr. Bagi has said he intends to sue his wife and children for the emotional stress of trying to establish his identity for the past twelve years.
Why this case took twelve years to resolve is a mystery to me. The wheels of justice turn slowly, but this is ridiculous. It also seems so obvious that a DNA test could sort this out quickly. Only in India, you say?
Lawdiva aka Georgialee Lang