Highlight: The Punjab and Haryana High Court uplifted the fact that no mother should be denied custody of the child on basis of an extra-marital affair. As it doesn’t mean that she is a bad mother.
BACKGROUND OF THE CASE:
The petitioner-mother filed a habeas corpus writ. The case was filed for the release of her four-year-old daughter. The child was in the custody of the father. The father here is the estranged husband of the petitioner. The appeal to hand over the custody to the child’s mother was made.
The petitioner got married in 2013. Her husband was settled in Australia. After getting married, she moved there. The couple had their daughter in 2017. It was after this that they developed marital disputes.
When they arrived in India, in January 2020, her husband took her daughter away. The father of the child claimed that the child lived with him and his parents. He has provided a cordial family atmosphere. Whereas, his ex-wife lived alone and will not be able to take care of the child. According to him, he should get custody.
The case was headed by Justice Anupinder Singh Grewal. It was on 10.05.2021, the custody was handed over to the petitioner-mother. Moreover, the respondent has put allegations of the extra-marital affair on the petitioner-mother. The respondent claimed that his ex-wife had affairs with a family relative. But no supporting materials were brought to the court. Hence, the allegations against the petitioner-mother could not be proved.
It is worth mentioning that we live in a patriarchal society. And, in this mindset, it is quite common to raise questions on a woman’s moral character. Moreover, it is often seen that these allegations are made without any foundations. Even if the allegations stand true, it does not mean that the woman is a bad mother.
The Justice also pointed out that this is no reason to deny a mother custody. It was also stated that the allegations against the petitioner are not relevant to the custody case.
Moreover, the love, care, and affection of the mother are vital for the minor child. The mother’s role and support are imperative in the adolescent years of the child. Also, the mother is the natural guardian of the child till the age of five years. This is in accordance with the Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act of 1956.
The petitioner is an Australian Citizen and is fairly well-settled. So, considering all aspects it will be best for the minor to be with her mother. This is what the jury said.
Not all allegations are indeed true. So, the jury has to be extremely careful and sensitive while dealing with such cases. As the child’s entire life depends upon one verdict.
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