Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, January 19th
The Punjab and Haryana Supreme Court made it clear that minors under the age of five may not live with their mother in a significant ruling that may result in litigation over territorial jurisdiction of courts hearing pleas of alienated couples, however, custody is considered to be in the place where she resides and the matter is heard there.
“I have no hesitation in interpreting Section 6 (a) of the Hindu Minorities and Guardians Act of 1956 to mean that a minor under the age of five may not be in the physical custody of the mother or reside with the mother as being in the place where the mother is Mother lives. It is held accordingly, ”explained Justice Arun Monga.
The controversy was whether the Panipat Family Court had territorial jurisdiction over a mother-initiated petition seeking custody of her daughter. The father’s allegation was that the minor had custody of the minor and that the family court in which the minor “usually” resided had territorial jurisdiction. In this case, the child was in Jagadhri in the care of her father.
With regard to Section 6, Monga Justice argued that there was a legal presumption of natural guardianship of a “minor” and “minor property” in the case of a child under five years of age and both in favor of the mother.
Justice Monga noted that the court was convinced of the view of another bank, headed by Justice Amol Rattan Singh, that “custody of a child under the age of five, especially a female child, is of course with the mother and therefore with custody will be with the mother, even if custody lies with the father. ”
Justice Monga noted that the mother interviewed was the minor’s natural guardian at the time of initiating proceedings in the family court and would therefore be presumed to have natural custody of the mother regardless of where the child was at the time actually live physically.
He said the mother has the right to appeal to the territorial jurisdiction of the Panipat Family Court. Justice Monga claimed that the child’s welfare and comfort should also be seen and, as such, every possible effort would be made to avoid the minor’s travel from Jagadhri to Panipat by not insisting on their physical presence unless: this is essential.