The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed a warring couple – who have been making all sorts of allegations and counter allegations against each other while fighting over custody of their minor daughter – to undergo psychiatric evaluation.
Both the estranged husband and wife have been directed to appear before doctors at the Hospital for Mental Health in Ahmedabad For Counselling.
A couple from Gujarat have been fighting a bitter legal battle for the custody of their three-year-old daughter. Both sides have been making all sorts of allegations and counter allegations against each other.
In August, the apex court directed for medical evaluation of the wife after serious allegations were levelled against her. After getting a report from the medical board of Vimhans in Delhi, the top court allowed her to spend time with the child at any public place for four hours in a day.
Main Allegation by Husband
Wife is suffering from mental imbalance, due to which she is unable to take care of their child.
Submission by Wife
Denied the allegations.
A family court had allowed the husband to take custody saying the wife couldn’t take care of the child because of the lack of problem of her “mental balance”.
Gujarat High Court
The Gujarat high court though set aside the order refusing to accept the plea that she was suffering from mental disease. It then said,
Since conceiving, at the birth of child and bringing the child up jointly, there is no such conduct or behaviour alleged or proved by contemporaneous record except motivated documents in the form of CD / photographs, produced just with a view to prejudice the mind of court.
A bench of Justices K M Joseph and B V Nagarathna directed the couple to appear before a panel of doctors on December 19 for psychiatric evaluation. The report will be considered by top court before taking a call on custody dispute. The Supreme Court passed the order on an appeal filed by husband challenging the Gujarat HC order granting custody of their daughter to his wife.
Child Welfare Paramount
The bench made it clear that, if needed, the court would take custody of the child and pass an appropriate order to ensure her welfare. As both parties failed to take a middle ground and kept blaming each other for disturbed married life, the bench said they first needed counselling. The Supreme Court thus ordered,
Both of you require psychiatric evaluation and counselling. You are destroying the child’s life and both of you need to be counselled on how to live like husband and wife.
It directed the medical superintendent of the hospital to assign a doctor or a panel of doctors to examine them. However, the lawyer, appearing for the wife, submitted that they be sent to some other hospital as her husband has a link in that hospital.
The bench then directed the medical superintendent to ensure that doctors who had earlier treated them be not made part of the panel.
- We are living in an era, where marriages are breaking down rapidly – for various reasons and we would not like to be judgemental
- If two persons are unwilling to live with each other, it is best that they part and move ahead in their respective lives
- However, should children be turned into pawns during separation?
- It’s time India adopts the concept of Shared Parenting, instead of making children suffer through their childhood tossing between egoistic warring parents
- Custody of Children must be shared equally by default, unless there is serious evidence of wrong doing by either parent
- Any parent who tries to brainwash the child must face stern consequences from the court
- Unfortunately, in current scenario, child custody is handed over solely to mothers, with bare minimum visitation rights to fathers
- However, fathers are made responsible unilaterally to support the child and estranged wives financially
- If India wants Equality, we need to shun these archaic practices and move towards a society which will help in bringing up children of divorced/separated parents in a healthy and normal manner
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"Both Of You Require Psychiatric Evaluation & Counselling": Supreme Court To Warring Couple In Bitter Child Custody Battle
— Voice For Men India (@voiceformenind) December 15, 2022
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