Friday, September 29, 2017

Welfare of the Minor is the paramount consideration of Child Custody

The minors should not be treated as “Chattel” for claiming custody.
In the present matter, the six-year Jhanvi was staying with her father. Jhanvi’s mother deserted her husband and her young daughter on 23rd March 2012. At that time, Jhanvi was only 2- year old. Subsequently, Jhanvi’s father filed for a divorce and sought permanent custody of their daughter.
During the pendency of this above petition, Jhanvi was allowed to meet her mother twice a week and during summer and winter vacations.
Petitioner claims that her daughter was physically abused by her mother on multiple occasions. Also, her medical reports confirm that she suffered “multiple bruises, apart from tenderness over her arms, roots of nose and back” after meeting her mother on January, 28.
Again, she suffered similar injuries on February 18. Later she informed her father that she does not intend to meet her mother as she use to hit and pinch her.
The petitioner pleads that since his daughter has been physically tortured and traumatized by her mother, she should not be allowed to meet her mother. At the same time, he also requested the court to get his daughter evaluated by a child psychologist.  
Subsequent to the request of the petitioner, the family court appointed Dr. Harish Shetty who is a  psychiatrist as Jhanvi’s psychologist. However, the petitioner vehemently objected to this as Dr. Harish was a psychiatrist and not psychologist.
Jhanvi's mother blatantly denied all the allegations and stated that Jhanvi was not with her when such incidents are claimed to have occurred.
The Bombay High Court observed that this was a clear case of child abuse and “It is well settled that welfare of minor is paramount consideration for deciding even a temporary custody of a minor. Minors cannot be treated as chattel for claiming custody.”
Considering Jhanvi’s apprehension and looking into her safety and well-being, the court has stayed the order passed by Family Court which permitted her mother to meet her.
Article by Advocate K.P.Satish Kumar M.L. leading child custody advocate in Chennai
for legal queries contact Daniel & Daniel @ 9840802218

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