SC and HC Judgments Online at MyNation

Judgments of Supreme Court of India and High Courts

Mr Preetam A Eklaspur vs Smt. Vanishree on 8 January, 2019

1

IN THE HIGH COURT OF KARNATAKA AT BENGALURU

DATED THIS THE 08TH DAY OF JANUARY, 2019

BEFORE

THE HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE B. VEERAPPA

WRIT PETITION No.52377/2018 (GM-FC)
C/W
WRIT PETITION No.49517/2018 (GM-FC)

IN WP No.52377/2018:

BETWEEN:

MR. PREETAM A. EKLASPUR,
AGED ABOUT 40 YEARS,
S/O. ANDANAPPA G. EKLASPUR,
RESIDING AT D 702,
SURAJ GANGA APARTMENTS,
VAJARAHALLI, KANAKAPURA ROAD,
BENGALURU 560062.
… PETITIONER
(BY SRI UDAYA HOLLA, SENIOR COUNSEL FOR
SMT. SUSHMA NAVEEN, ADVOCATE)

AND:

SMT. VANISHREE
AGED ABOUT 38 YEARS,
D/O. SRI. ANNAPPA B. PUTTI,
CHITAGI, 541/B,
PITASRI BUILDING,
3RD CROSS, BHAGYANAGAR,
BELGAUM 590006.
2

ALSO AT PO BOX 95051,
RPO KINGS GATE,
VANCOUVER B. C., V5T4T8,
CANADA.
… RESPONDENT

(BY SRI SREEVATSA, SENIOR COUNSEL FOR SRI
CHANNABASAVAPPA S. N., ADVOCATE FOR C/R)

****

THIS WRIT PETITION IS FILED UNDER ARTICLES 226
AND 227 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA PRAYING TO
QUASH THE IMPUGNED ORDER DATED. 7.11.2018
(ANNEXURE-A) PASSED BY THE INCHARGE COURT OF THE
V ADDITIONAL FAMILY JUDGE, BENGALURU ON I.A.NO.5 IN
G W. C No.242 OF 2018, ALLOWING THE RESPONDENT’S
PRAYER TO DIRECT THE JURISDICTIONAL POLICE STATION
TO ASSIST THE RESPONDENT IN SECURING THE CUSTODY
OF THE CHILD – PRISHA EKLASPUR.

IN WP No.49517/2018:

BETWEEN:

MR. PREETAM A. EKLASPUR,
AGED ABOUT 40 YEARS,
S/O. ANDANAPPA G. EKLASPUR,
RESIDING AT D 702,
SURAJ GANGA APARTMENTS,
VAJARAHALLI, KANAKAPURA ROAD,
BENGALURU 560062.
… PETITIONER
(BY SRI UDAYA HOLLA, SENIOR COUNSEL FOR
SMT. SUSHMA NAVEEN, ADVOCATE)
3

AND:

SMT. VANISHREE
AGED ABOUT 38 YEARS,
D/O. SRI. ANNAPPA B. PUTTI,
CHITAGI, 541/B,
PITASRI BUILDING,
3RD CROSS, BHAGYANAGAR,
BELGAUM 590006.

ALSO AT PO BOX 95051,
RPO KINGS GATE,
VANCOUVER B. C. V5T4T8,
CANADA.
… RESPONDENT

(BY SRI SREEVATSA, SENIOR COUNSEL FOR SRI
CHANNABASAVAPPA S. N., ADVOCATE FOR C/R)

****

THIS WRIT PETITION IS FILED UNDER ARTICLES 226
AND 227 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA PRAYING TO
QUASH THE IMPUGNED ORDER DATED, 30.10.2018
PASSED BY THE INCHARGE COURT OF THE V ADDITIONAL
FAMILY JUDGE, BENGALURU ON I.A.NO.2 IN G W.C.242
OF 2018 (ANNEXURE-A) DISMISSING THE INTERIM PRAYER
OF THE PETITIONER SEEKING THE CUSTODY OF THE
MINOR CHILD PRISHA EKLASPUR.

THESE WRIT PETITIONS HAVING BEEN HEARD AND
RESERVED FOR ORDERS, COMING ON FOR
PRONOUNCEMENT OF ORDER THIS DAY, THE COURT MADE
THE FOLLOWING:
4

ORDER

The petitioner-father filed Writ Petition

No.49517/2018 against the order dated 30.10.2018 made

in G WC No.242/2018 on the file of the V Addl. Prl. Judge,

Family Court, Bengaluru rejecting I.A. No.2 filed by him

under Section 12 of the Guardians and Wards Act, 1890

(‘G W Act’ for short) and vacating the interim order dated

1.9.2018 and consequently directing him to return the child

– Prisha Eklaspur to the custody of the respondent-mother,

forthwith.

2. The petitioner-father filed Writ Petition

No.52377/2018 against the order dated 7.11.2018 made in

G WC No.242/2018 allowing I.A. No.5 filed by the

respondent – mother and directing the Station House

Officer, Thalagattapura Police Station, Bengaluru to assist

the respondent – mother in securing the custody of the
5

minor child – Prisha from the petitioner – father as per the

order dated 30.10.2018.

I. BRIEF FACTS OF THE CASE

3. It is the case of the petitioner that his marriage

with the respondent was solemnized on 30.4.2006 at Gadag

as per the arrangement made by the elders of both the

families and thereafter he took an assignment at

Vancouver, Canada from his employer company in

Bengaluru as the respondent was fond of staying abroad

and he moved to Canada along with the respondent,

leaving his parents in India. During many other occasions,

the petitioner has also traveled to US and UK on long term

work projects without any intentions of settling

permanently there and has returned to India after the

completion of the project. It is further case of the

petitioner that after moving to Vancouver – Canada, the

petitioner had added the respondent as a joint account
6

holder to his salary account, giving her access to his salary

account and given the respondent the full freedom and

security financially and emotionally and there were several

investments that the petitioner and his sister had made in

the name of the respondent. The respondent insisted to

take a job using her law degree but she had to first

complete a course in English and the petitioner had

completely borne the expenses of her course financially and

supported morally to complete the same. Out of the

wedlock, the female child by name – Prisha was born on

20.10.2008 in Canada and since Prisha was born in Canada,

she automatically became a Canadian citizen, however, she

holds a PIO Card (‘Person of Indian Origin’ Card).

4. It is further case of the petitioner that the

relationship between the petitioner and the respondent was

never cordial and the respondent used to regularly pick up

some or the other quarrel with the petitioner and abuse him

and his parents. The respondent abused and chased away
7

the parents of the petitioner who had gone to Vancouver to

help the respondent during the post-partum period. The

respondent returned to India in 2009 since her dependent

visa had expired and again after the same was extended,

she moved back to Vancouver with the child after nine

months, on obtaining fresh Dependent Visa in December

2009.

5. It is further case of the petitioner that only to

prevent from multiple renewals of work permits during their

multiyear job posting, at the behest of the respondent and

her friends, petitioner obtained a Permanent Resident (PR)

visa for himself and the respondent as his dependent in

order to avoid expiry of health insurance coverage every

time the work permit expires. The petitioner had been a

very good husband and father and he would wake up early,

cook breakfast and lunch to the respondent and their

daughter as the respondent attended office work in night

shifts and used to spend considerable number of hours
8

during the day sleeping and it was the petitioner who took

care of the child while availing the option of ‘work from

home’ from his office. However, the respondent always

found fault with the petitioner and never left an opportunity

to pick fights with him no matter what he did. Inspite of

repeated requests by the petitioner, the respondent had

made it clear that she was neither interested in living

amicably nor interested in returning to India and used to

fight that no money be sent to his parents who were in

India and that the same money be transferred to her. It is

beyond imagination and not very easy to state for the

respondent that, the respondent had once broken the

thumb finger nail of the petitioner and the petitioner had

undergone a few sessions with the Psychologist. The

Psychologists had reported the incident to the Government

Child Services Agency and had advised the petitioner to

leave the house with the child if such behaviour repeats

again.

9

6. It is further case of the petitioner that after his

assignment of work at Canada, he made sincere attempts

to convince the respondent to come along with him to

India, but it was failed. The respondent in order to stay

back in Vancouver further has initiated divorce proceedings

against the petitioner, and also sought for a share in the

property owned by the petitioner in India and had sought

for financial support and permanent custody of the child.

Thereafter the petitioner requested the interaction of

his in-laws to convince the respondent. But, the respondent

did not oblige the request of her parents. Thereafter the

petitioner made several attempts to contact the respondent

and convince her to come back to India and ultimately filed

M.C. No.2056/2011 for restitution of conjugal rights and

same was granted in the year 2012 and the Court refused

to grant custody of child in favour of the petitioner in the

said case, as the child was not ordinarily residing within the

jurisdiction of the Family Court and the Canadian Court
10

granted interim custody of the child to the respondent.

Since the respondent did not comply with the restitution of

conjugal rights order, the petitioner filed a petition for

divorce and the same was decreed exparte vide Judgment

dated 17.9.2014 etc., Therefore the petitioner filed G WC

No.242/2018 under Section 7 of the Family Courts Act r/w

Section 17(1) of the G W Act for grant of custody of the

child – Prisha, aged about 10 years in his favour.

7. The respondent – mother filed objections to

the G WC Petition and denied all the averments except

the marriage and the child born out of the wedlock.

8. During the pendency of the main petition, the

petitioner filed an application under Section 12 of the G W

Act for interim custody of the child – Prisha, aged about 10

years in his favour along with the child’s passport and PIO

Card (‘Person of India Origin’ Card) till the disposal of the

petition, reiterating the averments made in the G WC
11

Petition. The respondent has filed memo dated 17.9.2018

adopting the objections to the main petition as objections to

I.A. No.2. The Family Court considering the application and

the objections by the impugned order dated 30.10.2018

rejected the application filed by the petitioner and vacated

the exparte interim order granted on 1.9.2018 and directed

the petitioner to return the child – Prisha to the custody of

the respondent forthwith.

9. Since the petitioner has not complied the order

passed by the Family Court, the respondent filed I.A. No.5

to direct the jurisdictional Police to assist the respondent in

securing the custody of the child in compliance of the order

dated 30.10.2018. The Family Court allowed I.A. No.5 on

7.11.2018 and directed the Station House Officer of

Thalagattapura Police Station to assist the respondent in

securing the custody of the minor child. Hence these writ

petitions are filed by the petitioner.

12

II. ARGUMENTS ADVANCED BY THE LEARNED
SENIOR COUSNEL APPEARING FOR THE PARTIES

10. I have heard the learned senior counsel appearing

for the parties to the lis.

11. Sri Udaya Holla, learned senior counsel appearing

for the petitioner – father contended that the impugned

order passed by the trial Court rejecting the application

filed by the petitioner under Section 12 of the G W Act

directing the petitioner to return the child to the respondent

– mother is erroneous and contrary to the material on

record. He would further contend that the Family Court

failed to notice that in terms of the provisions of Section 6

of the Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act,1956 the

natural guardian of a Hindu minor in the case of a boy or an

unmarried girl is the father and after him, the mother. The

Family Court has also not considered the provisions of

Section 12 of the G W Act that the Court has the power to
13

make interlocutory order for interim protection of the

person and property and the Court may make such order

for temporary custody and protection of the person or

property of the minor as it thinks proper. Therefore the

impugned order passed by the Family Court rejecting I.A.

No.2 is contrary to the provisions of Section 6 of the Hindu

Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956 and Section 12 of the

G W Act and the same cannot be sustained.

12. He would further contend that the impugned order has

not been passed in the best interest and over all well being

of the child and if the child is handed over to the

respondent – mother as per the impugned order, she will

take the child away from the jurisdiction of this Court and

may not continue to participate in the proceedings itself.

He would further contend that before passing the impugned

order, the Family Court has not at all considered the wishes

of the child. He would further contend that the Family Court

has proceeded to pass the impugned order mainly on the
14

basis of the order passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of

British Columbia granting custody rights in favour of the

respondent and wrongly drawn inference against the

petitioner that the petitioner has suppressed the said order

of the Supreme Court of British Columbia and further the

Family court has erred in not taking into consideration that

the child is born to parents who are Indian citizens and that

she holds a PIO Card (‘Person of the Indian Origin’ Card).

The Family Court erred in coming to the illogical conclusion

that as the petitioner has re-married and there is no chance

for the petitioner to have a child out of the 2nd wife, he had

hatched a plan to succeed in his attempt to secure the

interim custody of the child by filing an application before

the Family Court. Therefore the impugned order passed by

the Family Court on I.A. No.2 is erroneous.

13. He would further contend that even though the

petitioner was absent on the relevant day, no sufficient

opportunity was given to the petitioner and erroneously
15

allowed I.A. No.5 filed by the respondent directing the

jurisdictional Police to assist the respondent in securing the

custody of the child from the petitioner and the said order is

not a speaking order. Therefore he sought to allow the writ

petitions by quashing the impugned orders passed by the

Family Court.

14. In support of his contentions, learned senior

counsel appearing for the petitioner has relied upon the

following judgments:

1. Jitender Arora v. Sukriti Arora [(2017)3 SCC 726]

2. Vishnu v. Jaya [(2010)6 SCC 733]

3. Nil Ratan Kundu v. Abhijit Kundu [(2008)9 SCC 413]

4. Sheila B. Das v. P.R. Sugasree [(2006)3 SCC 62]

5. Chethana Ramatheertha v. Kumar V. Jahgirdar [ILR
2003 KAR 1205]

6. Sarita Sharma v. Sushil Sharma [(2000)3 SCC 14]

7. Jasmeet Kaur v. Navtej Singh [(2018)4 SCC 295]

8. Nithya Anand Raghavan v. State (NCT of Delhi)
[(2017)8 SCC 454]
16

9. Mohan Kumar Rayana v. Komal Mohan Rayana
[(2010)5 SCC 657]

10. Y. Narasimha Rao v. Y. Venkata Lakshmi
[(1991)3 SCC 451]

11. Vivek Singh v. Romani Singh [(2017)3 SCC
231]

12. Ruchi Majoo v. Sanjeev Majoo [(2011)6 SCC
479]

15. Per contra, Sreevatsa, learned senior counsel

appearing for the respondent sought to justify the

impugned orders passed by the Family Court rejecting the

application filed by the petitioner – father for interim

custody of the child and allowing the application filed by the

respondent – mother for direction to the jurisdictional Police

to assist her in securing the interim custody of the child

from the petitioner. He further contended that it is an

undisputed fact that the child was born at Canada on

20.10.2008 and she has studied seven years at Canada and

the School Report Card produced by the petitioner as per
17

Annexure-J clearly shows that the child studied at Mount

Pleasant Elementary, Vancouver. The child was with the

respondent – mother for the last eight years without any

complaint and the petitioner – father never initiated any

proceedings for custody of the child except the present

proceedings. He would further contend that the order

passed by the Family court was not implemented by the

petitioner and thereby the wife was forced to file application

for police protection, which was rightly allowed by the

Family Court. Therefore the petitioner is not entitled to the

interim custody of the minor child. He would further

contend that the petitioner – father has tutored the child to

go against her own wishes and further the petitioner has

already married with some other lady and therefore taking

into consideration the paramount interest of the minor child

and in the peculiar facts and circumstances of the present

case, the Family Court is justified in passing the impugned

orders. Therefore he sought to dismiss the writ petitions.
18

16. In support of his contentions, learned senior

counsel for the respondent has relied upon the following

judgments:

1. Sumedha Nagpal v. State of Delhi [(2000)9 SCC 745]

2. Gaurav Nagpal v. Sumedha Nagpal [(2009)1 SCC 42]

3. Hoshiam Shavaksha Dolikuka v. Thrity Hoshie
Dolikuka [(1982)2 SCC 577]

4. David Jude v. Hannah Grace Jude [(2003)10 SCC 760]

5. Nithya Anand Raghavan v. State (NCT of Delhi)
[(2017)8 SCC 454]

6. Kanika Goel v. State (NCT of Delhi) [(2018)9 SCC
578]

7. Elizabeth Dinshaw v. Arvand M. Dinshaw [(1987)1
SCC 42]

8. Vivek Singh v. Romani Singh [(2017)3 SCC 231]

9. State of Rajasthan v. Ganeshi Lal [(2008)2 SCC 533]

17. Learned senior counsel for the parties also filed

memos along with certain documents which relate to
19

parental alienation syndrome, some articles by the learned

authors and opinions of the doctors as well as chatting

through e.mail among father, mother and the child.

III. POINTS FOR CONSDIERATION

18. In view of the aforesaid rival contentions urged by

the learned senior counsel appearing for the parties, the

points that arise for consideration in the present writ

petitions are:

i) Whether the Family Court is justified in
passing the impugned order dated 30.10.2018
rejecting I.A. No.2 filed by the petitioner –
father under Section 12 of the G W Act for
interim custody of the minor child – Prisha,
aged about 10 years, in the facts and
circumstances of the present case ?

ii) Whether the Family Court is justified in
passing the impugned order dated 7.11.2018
20

allowing I.A. No.5 filed by the respondent –
mother directing the jurisdictional Police to
assist her in securing the custody of the minor
child from the petitioner, in the facts and
circumstances of the case ?

IV. CONSIDERATION

19. I have given my anxious consideration to the

arguments advanced by the learned senior counsel

appearing for the parties and perused the entire materials

available on record carefully.

20. It is an undisputed fact that the marriage between

the petitioner and the respondent was solemnized on

30.4.2006 at Gadag as per the Hindu customs. It is also

not in dispute that subsequently they moved to Vancouver,

Canada and out of their wedlock, the child – Prisha was

born on 20.10.2008. There were allegations and counter

allegations between the petitioner and the respondent as
21

husband and wife. It is also not in dispute that the minor

child – Prisha was born in Canada and studied for seven

years staying with the mother at Canada. The pleadings of

both the parties clearly depict that after the decree of

divorce obtained by the petitioner – father, he has already

married with some other lady. It is also not in dispute

that the present petitioner filed the main petition under

Section 7 of the Family Courts Act r/w Sections 17(1) and

(2) of the G W Act praying for grant of custody of the

child – Prisha, aged about 10 years in his favour. The

present writ petitions are filed by the petitioner against the

order passed by the Family Court on I.A. No.2 rejecting the

interim custody of the minor child in his favour as well as

allowing I.A. No.5 filed by the respondent – mother

directing the jurisdictional Police to assist the respondent in

securing the custody of the minor child.

21. It is well settled that while giving custody of the

minor female child, the wishes and welfare of the child is of
22

paramount importance and the Court should give due

consideration to the same in view of the provisions of

Section 17 of the G W Act. Admittedly in the present

case, the female child is aged about 10 years and she is

mentally matured to know the differences between the

father and mother and who is capable of taking care of her

in a better way. The Court before giving custody of minor

child to either father or mother must give regard to the

minor’s welfare as the first and paramount consideration

and may not take into consideration whether from any

other point of view the father’s claim in respect of that

custody or upbringing is superior to that of the mother, or

the mother’s claim is superior to that of the father.

22. In deciding a difficult and complex question as to

the custody of a minor child, a Court of law should keep in

mind the relevant statutes and the rights flowing therefrom.

But such cases cannot be decided solely by interpreting
23

legal provisions. It is a human problem and is required to

be solved with human touch. A Court while dealing with

custody cases, is neither bound by statutes nor by strict

rules of evidence or procedure nor by precedents. In

selecting proper guardian of a minor, the paramount

consideration should be the welfare and well being of the

child. In selecting a guardian, the Court is exercising

parens patriae jurisdiction and is expected to give due

weight to a child’s ordinary comfort, contentment, health,

education, intellectual development and favourable

surroundings and the Court should also take the wishes of

the minor child into consideration.

23. Admittedly in the present case, the female minor

child is aged about 10 years and for whose custody, both

mother and father are fighting with egoistic litigation

without taking into consideration the paramount interest of

the child and her future.

24

24. At this stage, it is relevant to refer to the

reasoning given by the Family Court at paragraphs 12 and

17 of the impugned order dated 30.10.2018, which reads as

under:

“12. It is relevant to note that vide chamber
conciliation dated 31.8.2018, the child has expressed
her intention before this Court to stay with her father
i.e, the petitioner, in India. But, after perusing the
pleadings of the parties and materials on record, I
am of the view that much importance need not be
given to the wishes of the minor child at this stage.
It appears that the child is innocent and because of
immaturity of mind, it might have expressed her
preference or interest to stay with her father in
India. But, I am of the view that to consider the
prayer of the petitioner in the main petition, the
evidence of the parties is very much necessary.
Mere child’s preference itself is not sufficient to pass
orders in the present case. Therefore, at this stage I
hold that the child is directed to be returned to the
respondent to enable her to go back and pursue her
studies in Canada.

25

17. I have considered the said citations in the
background of the rival contentions of the parties.
Having regard to the pleadings and reliefs claimed by
the parties and in the best interest of the child, I am
of the view that the interim order passed by this
Court on 1.9.2018 is liable to be vacated.
Admittedly, the child Prisha Eklaspur is a girl child.
Since the petitioner has already married with some
other lady, the respondent – mother is the best
guardian for the said child. Since the order passed
by British Columbia Court in respect of the custody
of the child is still in force, I hold that the petitioner
is not entitled for the interim custody of the child as
prayed for in I.A. No.II.”

25. On careful perusal of the impugned order, it clearly

depicts that the reasoning given by the Family Court at

paragraphs 12 and 17 of the impugned order is

inconsistent. When the Family Court got the wishes of the

child as per the Chamber Conciliation Order dated

31.8.2018 and when the child expressed her intention

before the learned Family Court Judge to stay with her

father in India, the Family Court ought to have given due
26

consideration for the same in view of the dictums of this

Court and the Supreme Court time and again that the

wishes of the child is of paramount importance. But the

Family court erred in holding that much importance need

not be given to the wishes of the minor child.

26. When the matter came up before this Court on

23.11.2018, after hearing the learned senior counsel

appearing for the parties for some time, this Court felt it

appropriate to ascertain the views and wishes of the minor

child – Prisha, aged about 10 years, studying in 4th

Standard. Accordingly, the minor child was invited to the

Chamber at 4.40 p.m. and when the Court interacted with

the minor female child, it is found that she was quite

intelligent, active and able to understand the questions put

forth by the Court and when the Court put the question to

the child about interim custody, she immediately reacted

that she prefers to stay with her father, whom she felt more

comfortable and she wants to continue her studies in India
27

and she don’t want to go back to Canada with her mother.

When the Court told the child that her father has already

married with some other lady, she quickly answered that

2nd mum is very good and close to her and she is taking

care of her better than the mother and she categorically

reiterated while weeping that she don’t want to go back to

Canada and wants to stay with her father in India.

27. The material on record clearly depicts that for

more than seven years, the child was with the mother

studying at Canada. The School report card produced as

per Annexure-J depicts that she was studying at Fraser

Institute, Vancouver. The said facts are not in dispute.

The dispute arose only when the parents of the child came

to India. Though the learned senior counsel appearing for

the respondent contended that the mind of the child has

been polluted by the father and the child is innocent and

because of immaturity of her mind, she might have

expressed her preference or interest to stay with her father
28

in India and same has to be ignored, cannot be accepted,

as it is a matter to be adjudicated after full fledged trial.

28. The learned senior counsel appearing for the

petitioner made allegations against the respondent –

mother about the way in which the child studied in a school

where there are no basic facilities available and the child

was not properly looked after by her mother and the school

where the child studied at Canada is not good rating school

etc., On the other hand, the learned senior counsel

appearing for the respondent made allegations against the

petitioner – father that he has not taken care of the child for

more than 09 years and only he filed the petition for

custody before the Family Court after his 2nd marriage and

when he came to know that he will not get any child from

the 2nd marriage and further father is not a proper

custodian since he is having 2nd wife etc., These allegations

and counter allegations made by the learned senior counsel
29

appearing for the parties are all matters to be adjudicated

only after full fledged trial.

29. Though the learned senior counsel appearing for

the parties argued with vehemence on three hearing dates

and produced various documents with regard to parental

alienation syndrome and the articles with regard to child’s

mind and opinions of the doctor, they are all the matters to

be adjudicated after a full fledged trial between the parties

and cannot be considered at this stage.

30. The learned senior counsel appearing for the

respondent relied upon judgments in Sumedha Nagpal,

Gaurav Nagpal, Hoshiam Shavaksha Dolikuka, David Jude,

Nithya Anand Raghavan, Kanika Goel, Elizabeth Dinshaw,

Vivek Singh and other cases stated supra with regard to

welfare of the minor child and submits that custody cases

not to be decided merely based upon the rights of the

parties under law and the trauma that the child likely to
30

experience in the event of change of such custody, pending

proceedings before a Court of competent jurisdiction etc.,

will have to be borne in mind. The judgments relied upon

the learned counsel for the respondent pertain to the

proceedings arising under Section 25 r/w Section 6 of the

G W Act and the child below five years and is not in a

position to know anything about the parents; the

proceedings initiated under Article 226 of the Constitution

of India for Habeas Corpus and custody of minor after

divorce in USA etc. Admittedly in the present case, the

minor child is aged about more than 10 years and she has

expressed her wishes to stay with the petitioner – father

before the Family Court vide chamber conciliation order

dated 31.8.2018. Even before this Court on 23.11.2018

when the child was invited to the chamber, it is found that

she is quite intelligent and active and able to understand

the questions put forth by the Court and categorically and

consistently stated that she prefers to stay with the father
31

in India and she don’t want to go back to Canada with the

mother. In view of the above, the judgments relied upon

by the learned senior counsel for the respondent have no

application to the peculiar facts and circumstances of the

present case.

31. In view of the provisions of Section 6(a) of the

Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956, the natural

guardian of a Hindu minor, in the case of a boy or an

unmarried girl is the father, and after him, the mother. The

provisions of Section 19 of the G W Act deals with when a

guardian not to be appointed by the Court and as per the

said section, nothing in the Chapter shall authorize the

Court to appoint or declare a guardian of the property of a

minor whose property is under the superintendence of a

Court of Wards or to appoint or declare a guardian of the

person of a minor who is married female and whose

husband is not in the opinion of Court, unfit to be guardian

of her person, or of a minor whose father is living and is not
32

in the opinion of the Court, unfit to be guardian of the

person of the minor, or of a minor whose property is under

the superintendence of a Court of Wards competent to

appoint a guardian of the person of the minor. Admittedly

in the present case, the female child is aged more than ten

years and is capable of understanding the things about her

welfare and she has categorically stated before the Family

Court as well as this Court that she prefers to stay with her

father with whom she is more comfortable than mother.

32. It is also not in dispute that earlier the petitioner –

father filed an application before the Family Court for

interim custody of the minor child – Prisha in his favour

and to direct the respondent to hand over child’s passport

and PIO Card (‘Person of Indian Origin’ Card) to him, till

disposal of the petition. The Family Court considering the

application and the objections by an order dated 1.9.2018

granted interim custody of the minor child to the petitioner

till the next date of hearing and consequently the
33

respondent – wife was directed to hand over the passport

and PIO Card of the child to the petitioner immediately. By

the said order, the Family Court also directed the petitioner

to take all necessary steps for comfortable stay, education,

health and such other things for paramount interest of the

child during the custody of the child with him in India.

Admittedly, the said order was the subject matter of W.P.

No.40758/2018 filed by the wife. This Court after hearing

both the parties by an order dated 11.10.2018 observed

that the interim arrangement and the direction issued to

the effect that minor child shall remain with the father,

pending disposal of the application filed by the father under

Section 12 of the G W Act, is only an order in the

interest of the minor child and not in any way recognizing

the right of the father to have interim custody of the minor

child, as that aspect of the matter is pending adjudication

before the Family Court and directed the Family Court to

dispose of the application expeditiously on or before
34

25.10.2018. The fact that the minor child is with the father

for more than four months, is also not in dispute.

33. The provisions of Sections 7,9,12, 13, 17 and 25 of

the G W Act and Section 6 of the Hindu Minority and

Guardianship Act, 1956, makes it manifestly clear that the

paramount consideration is the welfare of the minor child

and not statutory rights of the parents. The problem has

to be solved rather with a human touch. In selecting a

guardian, the Court exercises parens patriae jurisdiction. It

must give due weightage to child’s ordinary comfort,

contentment, health, education, intellectual development

and favourable surroundings, as well as physical comfort

and moral values. Court must ascertain child’s wishes and

a child is not a property or commodity. Such issues should

be handled with love, affection, sentiments and applying

human touch to the problem.

35

V. DICTUMS OF THE APEX COURT AND THIS COURT

34. While considering the provisions of the G W Act, the

Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Jitender Arora v.

Sukriti Arora reported in (2017)3 SCC 726 held at

paragraphs 15 and 17 as under:

15. We also had interaction with Vaishali in the
chambers earlier. On the date of hearing also,
Vaishali was present in the Court and in front of her
parents, she unequivocally expressed that she was
happy with her father and wanted to continue in his
company and did not want to go with her mother,
much less to UK. From the interaction, it is clearly
discernible that she is a mature girl who is in a
position to weigh the pros and cons of two
alternatives and to decide as to which course of
action is more suited to her. She has developed her
personality and formed her opinion after considering
all the attendant circumstances. Her intellectual
characteristics are adequately developed. She is able
to solve problems, think about her future and
36

understands the long-term effects of the decision
which she has taken. We also find that she has been
brought up in a conducive atmosphere. It, thus,
becomes apparent that in the instant case, we are
dealing with the custody of a child who is 15 years of
age and has achieved sufficient level of maturity.
Further, in spite of giving ample chances to the
respondent by giving temporary custody of Vaishali
to her, the respondent has not been able to win over
the confidence of Vaishali. We, therefore, feel that
her welfare lies in the continued company of her
father which appears to be in her best interest.

17. On the facts of the present case, we are
convinced that custody of the child needs to be with
the father. She is already 15 years of age and within
3 years, she would be major and all this custody
battle between her parents would come to an end.
She would have complete freedom to decide the
course of action she would like to adopt in her life.
We, thus, allow this appeal and set aside the
judgment of the High Court. No costs.

35. The Hon’ble Supreme Court while dealing with the

custody of minor child aged about nine years in the case of
37

Nil Ratan Kundu v. Abhijit Kundu reported in (2008)9

SCC 413 held at paragraphs 52 and 72 as under:

52. In our judgment, the law relating to custody
of a child is fairly well settled and it is this: in
deciding a difficult and complex question as to the
custody of a minor, a court of law should keep in
mind the relevant statutes and the rights flowing
therefrom. But such cases cannot be
decided solely by interpreting legal provisions. It is a
human problem and is required to be solved with
human touch. A court while dealing with custody
cases, is neither bound by statutes nor by strict rules
of evidence or procedure nor by precedents. In
selecting proper guardian of a minor, the paramount
consideration should be the welfare and well-being of
the child. In selecting a guardian, the court is
exercising parens patriae jurisdiction and is
expected, nay bound, to give due weight to a child’s
ordinary comfort, contentment, health, education,
intellectual development and favourable
surroundings. But over and above physical comforts,
moral and ethical values cannot be ignored. They are
equally, or we may say, even more important,
essential and indispensable considerations. If the
38

minor is old enough to form an intelligent preference
or judgment, the court must consider such
preference as well, though the final decision should
rest with the court as to what is conducive to the
welfare of the minor.

72. We have called Antariksh in our chamber. To
us, he appeared to be quite intelligent. When we
asked him whether he wanted to go to his father and
to stay with him, he unequivocally refused to go with
him or to stay with him. He also stated that he was
very happy with his maternal grandparents and
would like to continue to stay with them. We are,
therefore, of the considered view that it would not be
proper on the facts and in the circumstances to give
custody of Antariksh to his father, the respondent
herein.”

36. While considering the provisions of Sections 7 and

17 of the G W Act, the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the

case of Mausami Moitra Ganguli v. Jayant Ganguli

reported in (2008) 7 SCC 673 held at paragraphs 12 and 26 as

under:

39

12. Before hearing the case, we interviewed
Satyajeet in chambers and found that he was quite
intelligent and was able to understand the facts and
circumstances in which he was placed. He could
comprehend matters and visualise his own well-
being. He seemed to have no complaint against his
father. He explicitly stated before us that he was not
inclined to go with his mother and would like to stay
with his father and continue his studies at Allahabad
where he has quite a few friends.

26. Under these circumstances and bearing in
mind the paramount consideration of the welfare of
the child, we are convinced that the child’s interest
and welfare will be best served if he continues to be
in the custody of the father. In our opinion, for the
present, it is not desirable to disturb the custody of
Master Satyajeet and, therefore, the order of the
High Court giving his exclusive custody to the father
with visitation rights to the mother deserves to be
maintained. We feel that the visitation rights given to
the appellant by the High Court, as noted above,
also do not require any modification. We, therefore,
affirm the order and the aforeextracted directions
given by the High Court. It will, however, be open to
the parties to move this Court for modification of this
40

order or for seeking any direction regarding the
custody and well-being of the child, if there is any
change in the circumstances.

37. The Division Bench of this Court in the case of

Chethana Ramatheertha vs. Kumar V. Jahgirdar

reported in ILR 2003 KAR 1205 while considering the

provisions of Sections 25 and 26 of the Hindu Marriage Act,

held at Paragraph-27 as under:

27. In disputes relating to the custody of the
minor children, the consideration can only be the
welfare of the child and the rights of the parents has
to yield or give way, is a proposition now very well
established and recognised by Courts. The historical
concept that the father of a minor child is in a better
or superior position to take care of the child has as
of now given way to the modern thinking that it is
not necessarily so; that either parent is equally
capable of taking care of the child; that the question
of custody should always be decided by taking into
consideration the facts and circumstances that
prevail in each case; the ability of the parents to
provide necessary facilities – environmental,
41

companionship, love and affection, are all factors
which Courts have to bear in mind in deciding the
question. The question is not viewed any more from
the angle of “which parent has a better right”, but
from the approach as to “the company of which of
the two parents is better suited for the integrated
development of the personality of the child” and “as
to whether the child receives the necessary inputs if
it is in the company of a particular parent, for a
healthy growth and development of the personality
of the child”. In fact, as one could perceive, the child
always needs the company of both parents for such
growth and development. The Child desires and
yearns for the company of both parents.

Unfortunately in a situation where it has become
inevitable that the parents part company and they
live separately, the child can have the company of
only one parent at a time and not simultaneously.
This is a situation brought about by the parents and
inevitably the child is the victim and whatever
arrangement may be made either by the parties
themselves or on their failure, by the Courts, as
ultimate guardian of a minor child will always fall
short of a satisfactory arrangement from the child’s
point of view and the child does suffer. Therefore,
the question is to be approached from the angle of
42

mitigating the suffering, the hardship and the
psychological trauma that the child may undergo due
to separation of the parents. The harsh reality is that
the parents can no more live together and
particularly in a situation of the present nature
where the parents have not only divorced and one of
the parents has married thereafter. What promotes
the interest of the child, what are the possibilities to
promote the welfare of the child, how best the child’s
suffering, hardship and trauma is mitigated, are the
considerations before the Court.

38. The Hon’ble Supreme Court while considering the

Family and Personal Laws, Guardians and Wards and

custody of minor child in the case of Jasmeet Kaur vs.

Navtej Singh reported in (2018)4 SCC 295 held at

paragraph-4 as under:

4. In view of the above, principle of comity of
courts or principle of forum convenience alone
cannot determine the threshold bar of jurisdiction.
Paramount consideration is the best interest of the
child. The same cannot be the subject-matter of final
determination in proceedings under Order 7 Rule 11
CPC.

43

39. While considering the custody of child under

Article 226 of the Constitution of India in Habeas Corpus

petition in the case of Nithya Anand Raghavan vs. State

(NCT of Delhi) and another reported in (2017)8 SCC

454, the Three-Judge Bench of the Hon’ble Supreme Court

held at paragraphs 24 and 26 as under:

24. Ms Rajkotia submits that parens patriae
jurisdiction of the court within whose jurisdiction the
child is located as also the welfare of the child in
question must be given greater weightage as
opposed to a mechanical interpretation of the
principle of comity of courts. By giving effect to the
comity of courts, the High Court has eroded its own
parens patriae jurisdiction and also ignored the
welfare of the child who is located within its
jurisdiction. In fact, the evolving standard, at least
as far as the USA and the UK Courts are concerned,
is to give greater importance to the welfare of the
child as opposed to giving primacy to the principle of
comity of courts. She has relied upon a judgment of
the United States Supreme Court
in Lozano v. Montoya Alvarez [Lozano v. Montoya
Alvarez, 2014 SCC OnLine US SC 62 : 134 S Ct 1224
44

: 572 US _ (2014)] wherein the Court, inter alia,
stated that while the Hague Convention was
intended to discourage child abduction, it was not
supposed to do so at the cost of the child’s interest
in choosing to remain in the jurisdiction of the
country or in settling the matter.

26. Ms Rajkotia further submits that in two cases
viz. Shilpa Aggarwal v. Aviral Mittal [Shilpa
Aggarwal v. Aviral Mittal, (2010) 1 SCC 591 : (2010)
1 SCC (Civ) 192] and most recently in Surya
Vadanan [Surya Vadanan v. State of T.N., (2015) 5
SCC 450 : (2015) 3 SCC (Civ) 94] , this Court has
deviated from the established principle of putting the
welfare of the child above all other considerations. In
both these cases, the Court ordered that the child
and mother return to the jurisdiction of the foreign
court, despite the fact that the two had left the
foreign jurisdiction before the court had passed any
order. She has taken exception to the reasoning
given in these two judgments on the ground that the
decisions overlook the parens patriae jurisdiction of
the Court as also misinterpreted the concept of
“intimate contact” with the child. The “intimate
contact” principle only applies in an instance where
the child has been taken to a country with an alien
45

language, social customs, etc. It cannot be
applicable where the child returns to a country where
he/she has been born and brought up in, like in the
present case. Further, the judgment in Surya
Vadanan [Surya Vadanan v. State of T.N., (2015) 5
SCC 450 : (2015) 3 SCC (Civ) 94] has the chilling
effect of giving dominance to the principle of comity
of courts over the welfare of the child. The
judgment, in effect, rejects the perspective of the
child and may encourage multiplicity of proceedings.
This, ultimately, leads to a mechanical application of
the principle of comity of courts. This is in direct
conflict with the binding decision in V. Ravi Chandran
(2) [ Ravi Chandran (2) v. Union of India, (2010) 1
SCC 174 : (2010) 1 SCC (Civ) 44] where a three-
Judge Bench categorically held that under no
circumstances can the principle of welfare of the
child be eroded and that a child can seek refuge
under the parens patriae jurisdiction of the Court.

VI. CONCLUSION

40. For the reasons stated above, the 1st point raised

in the present writ petitions is answered in the negative

holding that the Family Court is not justified in passing the
46

impugned order dated 30.10.2018 rejecting I.A. No.2 filed

by the petitioner – father under Section 12 of the Guardians

and Wards Act, 1890 for interim custody of minor child –

Prisha, aged about 10 years. Consequently, Point No.2 is

also answered in the negative holding that the Family Court

is not justified in passing the impugned order dated

7.11.2018 allowing I.A. No.5 filed by the respondent –

mother directing the jurisdictional Police to assist the

respondent in securing custody of minor child – Prisha from

the petitioner. In view of the above and taking into

consideration the paramount interest of the minor child-

Prisha, who is aged more than 10 years, and the consistent

wishes expressed by her before the Family Court as well as

before this Court, the impugned orders passed by the

Family Court cannot be sustained and are liable to quashed.

41. In view of the above, these writ petitions are

allowed. The impugned orders passed by the Family Court

dated 30.10.2018 on I.A. No.2 filed by the petitioner –
47

father under Section 12 of the G W Act and the order

dated 7.11.2018 on I.A. No.5 filed by the respondent –

mother are hereby quashed. I.A. No.2 filed by the

petitioner – father in G WC No.242/2018 is allowed. I.A.

No.5 filed by the respondent – mother in G WC

No.242/2018 is rejected.

42. This Court hopes and trusts that both the

petitioner – father and respondent – mother being highly

educated, cultured with all modern outlook and well off,

would maintain cordial relations and conduct themselves

decently, courteously and extend full cooperation for the

well being of minor female child – Prisha, which is the

object of the provisions of the Guardians and Wards Act,

1890 and the dictums of the Hon’ble Supreme Court and

this Court, stated supra.

43. Taking into consideration the paramount interest of

the child, the Family court is directed to dispose of the main
48

matter itself within a period of four months from the date of

receipt of certified copy of this Order, subject to

cooperation from both the parties to the lis.

44. It is needless to observe that the respondent being

the mother of the minor child – Prisha is entitled to file

application for visitation rights during the pendency of the

proceedings before the Family Court and the petitioner

being the father should not oppose for grant of visitation

rights. If such an application is filed, the Family Court shall

dispose of the same at the earliest in accordance with law.

Ordered accordingly.

Sd/-

JUDGE
*gss/-

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copyright © 2020 SC and HC Judgments Online at MyNation
×

Free Legal Help, Just WhatsApp Away

MyNation HELP line

We are Not Lawyers, but No Lawyer will give you Advice like We do

Please read Group Rules – CLICK HERE, If You agree then Please Register CLICK HERE and after registration  JOIN WELCOME GROUP HERE

We handle Women Centric biased laws like False Sectioin 498A IPC, Domestic Violence(DV ACT), Divorce, Maintenance, Alimony, Child Custody, HMA 24, 125 CrPc, 307, 312, 313, 323, 354, 376, 377, 406, 420, 497, 506, 509; TEP, RTI and many more…

MyNation FoundationMyNation FoundationMyNation Foundation