“Even after two years, they never thought of having children and we leave the decision to them,” said Prasad, 61, a retired civil servant, in a brief phone interview.
But Prasad’s family ended up getting so distraught that they would be embarrassed whenever they saw parents dropping their grandchildren off at the bus stop, said Srivastava, the couple’s lawyer. The court filing accuses their son and his wife, who live in the southern city of Hyderabad, of neglecting “their obligation to provide the pleasures of having a grandchild or granddaughter”.
Prasad’s son and wife could not be reached for comment.
The case made national headlines and sparked debate about how much control parents should have over their children’s life choices.
Raavi Birbal, a lawyer in India, said the lawsuit was unlikely to proceed because his arguments violated rights enshrined in India’s constitution, including the right to liberty.
“This is actually a very rare case,” Birbal said. “That’s why he’s in the limelight so much. But, in the end, it’s the couple’s choice to have children, not their parents.
Hari Bhushan Yadav, 52, a shopkeeper in Haridwar, said local residents discussed the case with great interest over tea outside his shop and older people tended to sympathize with the complainants.
“In old age you want to play with your grandchildren,” he said. “What’s wrong with giving them one?”
Sameer Yasir reporting from New Delhi and Mike Ives from Seoul. Kumar’s Day contribution report.
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