The Bombay High Court resolved a family conflict and welcomed the parents of a 12-year-old boy as his natural guardians with ultimate custody and ordered his grandmother to immediately turn the boy’s custody over to his parents.
A division bank of Justice SS Shinde and Justice Manish Pitale passed judgment on March 3 on a habeas corpus motion filed by the boy’s parents to instruct his maternal grandmother to produce him and give him custody.
Parents’ attorney Rajesh More said the petition was filed because the grandmother refused to part with the couple’s only son, who had lived with her since August 2019. The lawyer stated that the couple lived in Pune and the husband worked in a multinational corporation. The duo were married in 2008 and after that the boy was born.
In 2019, the boy’s mother suffered from a gynecological condition for which she was advised to undergo surgery and rest. She moved to Nashik for treatment because her mother (interviewed grandmother of the boy) and her family lived in the same town.
As travel restrictions were gradually eased during the Covid-19 lockdown in May 2020, the couple decided to return to Pune and enroll their son in a school for the next school year. “When the grandmother found out about this, she started an argument with the petitioners and said she would not allow the boy to be brought back to Pune,” the request said.
The parents also filed a police complaint and turned to the Child Welfare Committee (CWC), which ordered that custody of the boy be handed over to his parents. However, the order was lifted by the district judge on a plea from grandmother. As a result, the couple moved the Supreme Court after their grandmother also filed a police complaint against them.
A Supreme Court single judge bench found in December 2020 that the child was being “educated at first sight” to say they wanted to stay with their grandmother and also overturned the CWC and magistrate orders.
Justice Pitale for the bank noted, “In relation to the factors that determine the child’s well-being, what is of paramount importance in such cases is the child’s ordinary comfort in the present case, his or her satisfaction, health, education, physical, moral and intellectual development, ethical upbringing and economic well-being, and also his future certainly rests with his parents, ie the petitioners. ”
It added, “Even if the child is around 12 years old and it can be said that they are old enough to form an opinion or preference, we feel they have been advised to make statements in favor of Grandmother questioned. ”
The court ordered the grandmother to immediately transfer custody of the boy to the boy and allowed her to visit for three months between 10:00 am and 5:00 pm each weekend for “human touch and sensitivity to the child’s feelings “.