India's most enduring tennis champion Leander Paes is battling on another court. On Saturday, Paes (40) filed a 27-page petition (a copy of which is with sunday mid-day) in the Family Court in Bandra, seeking the custody of his daughter Aiyana, claiming he is concerned for her safety, welfare and wellbeing. Paes has also sought an order restraining his long-time partner Rhea Pillai from taking their daughter out of Mumbai without the court's permission.
When contacted, Paes confirmed to sunday mid-day that he had filed the petition in the Family Court at Bandra at 3:15pm on Saturday but refused to comment further. While Pillai, too, refused to comment on the case, her lawyer, Mrunalini Deshmukh said it would be improper to comment on the case till her client received a notice and that Pillai would definitely fight for the custody of her child.
In his petition, submitted through the legal firm Mridula Kadam Associates, the 14-time Grand Slam winner and Olympic medalist states that he and partner Rhea Pillai (48) "are not married since she did not believe in the institution of marriage."