Leander Paes throws up racket, files plaint against Rhea Pillai

Indian tennis ace Leander Paes, 40, has reportedly approached the Mumbai police with a criminal complaint against his live-in partner Rhea Pillai, 48, alleging that she may cause harm to their eight-year-old daughter and forcibly take her out of the country.

The tennis great also filed a petition in the family court in Bandra on Saturday seeking guardianship of the child.

According to sources, Paes met Mumbai police commissioner Rakesh Maria on Friday. Paes reportedly submitted an application to Maria complaining that his daughter was in danger and he fears that Pillai may forcibly take her out of the country.

Maria then forwarded it to additional commissioner of police (west region) Milind Bharambe. And by Friday evening, the Bandra police reportedly took cognisance of Paes’ application and lodged a formal complaint to investigate it further. When dna contacted Maria, he refused to comment on the matter. The police too remained tight-lipped about the case and refused to divulge any information.

However, the Bandra police has been asked to investigate the allegations made by Paes within 15 days and give a report and take further action in the case, said a senior police officer.

Meanwhile, Paes also moved the family court in Bandra on Saturday seeking permanent custody of his daughter under section 7 of the Guardian and Wards Act, 1890. In the petition, Paes has alleged that the minor girl’s welfare and well-being is being affected because of Pillai’s poor conduct.

dna contacted Pillai’s lawyer Mrinalini Deshmukh who said she was aware that the guardianship petition had been filed. “But I have not read the petition so I am not aware of its contents; therefore I cannot comment on it,” Deshmukh said.

The relationship of Paes and Pillai has been going through a rough time for the past few years. They met each other in 2003 and in 2005 they came together when Pillai informed Paes that she had separated from her husband and actor Sanjay Dutt. It was Pillai’s second marriage with Dutt.

Paes and Pillai never married and were in a live-in relationship. They stayed in a flat in Bandra. They had a daughter in 2006.

According to sources, on April 26, Paes was to travel to the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi to receive the Padma Bhushan. Paes wanted his daughter to accompany him. But Pillai allegedly refused to allow their daughter to travel to Delhi.

After this incident, Paes got worried and alarmed about the safety of his daughter and approached the police, the source informed.

Even in the guardianship petition filed by Paes in the family court, he has expressed fears saying Pillai being a British citizen and a Person of Indian Origin (PIO) card holder, she may attempt to take the child out of India. Paes has therefore requested the court to pass an injunction order restraining Pillai from leaving the city.

Further in his petition, Paes has informed the court that he is in a position to provide safe and secure home for the minor child and look after her welfare and well-being.