Little one custody points shouldn’t be determined in perfunctory method, guidelines Delhi Excessive Court docket

Apr 23, 2022 16:30 IS

New Delhi [India]April 23 (ANI): Child custody issues should not be decided in a perfunctory manner, the Delhi High Court ruled on Friday while putting back the matter to the family court to decide the issue by affording an opportunity to all parties.
The custody of a child was handed over to the father. The mother had challenged the order saying it was passed without granting her an opportunity to be heard.
Justice Yashwant Varma on Friday decided that the petition saying that the Family Judge would have been well advised to ensure that respective parties were afforded an opportunity of hearing. “Regard must also be to the fact that issues relating to custody of a minor child are to be addressed with due care and consideration. They should not, in any case, be decided in the perfunctory manner as has been done in the present case, “he said.
Justice Varma observed, “Bearing in mind the fact that the order challenged has been made ex-parte, the Principal Judge is hereby commanded to re-consider the issue of custody and decide the same fresh with due notice to all parties concerned. The issue shall be decided not later than within a period of one week from today. The order challenged here shall abide by the fresh decision that the Family Judge shall now take.”

The petitioner’s mother had challenged the order of April 11, 2022 passed by Saket Family Court handing over the custody of the child to the father. The petitioner had sought directions to the father to return the custody of the child to her and also restoration of the status quo as was existing on April 8, 2022.
“The respondent’s father is stated to have left the home where the mother and child reside sometime in May 2021. The petition for custody was filed in February 2022. The child during this period had remained in the custody and care of the petitioner’s mother,” the bench noted.
The High Court noted, “The proceedings on March 24, 2022 and April 11, 2022 were taken ex-parte the petitioner here. The Court finds itself unable to either countenance or approve of the procedure as adopted by the Family Judge bearing in mind the admitted position that the petition for custody had remained pending on its board since 2021 and the child had admittedly remained in the custody of the mother since May 2021.”
“There was neither any justification for the drawl of proceedings ex parte nor has the Court been apprised of any emergent circumstances which warranted a change of the status quo which had prevailed till 8 April 2022,” the Court noted.
On March 24, 2022, the Family Judge entertained the Advocate for the respondent’s father and was shown certain video clips. Upon perusing the same as well as the record, directions were framed ex-parte for the assessment of the minor child by an officer of the Child Welfare Committee. On April 11, the Family Judge is stated to have had an interaction with the child and had recorded that the child had expressed a desire to live with the father. On the basis of the aforesaid direction were framed for the custody of the child being handed over to the father. (ANI)

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