Child custody cases are not just heart breaking for children, but equally painful for the non-custodial parent. In a recent case reported from Mumbai, the Bombay High Court premises witnessed some dramatic scenes, where the biological father was taking his minor son home, after he was granted custody by the High Court.
This is a matter, where the minor child’s mother had passed away some years ago, and since then the child remained in the custody of his maternal grandparents. The petitioner in the case is the biological father Vs deceased mother’s family.
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The (now deceased) mother of the 10-year-old child was a professor with some of the oldest colleges in South Mumbai for many years. In 2016, she was diagnosed with tuberculosis after a prolonged illness and then breast cancer the following year, post which the child’s mother passed away in 2019.
However, soon after the mother’s demise, the maternal grandparents of the boy (who was 6-years-old in 2019) approached the Family Court for his custody.
The family court ruled in the grandparents’ favour. However, on February 1, 2022, the Bombay High Court set aside the family court’s judgement and ordered that the child’s custody be with the father.
The maternal grandmother also passed away in May 2022. Subsequently, on September 16, 2022, the Supreme Court granted the child’s custody to the father by considering the demise of the grandmother.
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Since the deceased wife’s family refused to comply with the top court’s order, the biological father once again approached High Court for contempt of court.
On December 13, 2022 the bench, to avoid “any complications and creation of scene or ruckus”, directed the senior Police Inspector to take the child’s custody from the grandparents’ building compound. However, once again the attempt was futile as the child refused to go with the officer, who then apprised the High Court about the same.
Later on Monday, the maternal family agreed to hand over the child’s custody to the father but the child refused to go again.
On Tuesday the court suggested the handover happen in court “to avoid any bickering or scene being created by either of the parties.” Although, the court was informed that the child tried to assault the father and ran away from his custody. The family’s lawyer denied allegations of assault.
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Bombay High Court
A division bench of Justices AS Gadkari and PD Naik observed that the animosity over the child’s custody between the warring parties may have contributed to the father being alienated from the child.
Everyone at the court premises were witness to the child screaming and physically attacking his father, as the latter tried to take him home. While the bench denied to look at the video footage, the Bombay High Court asked the maternal grandfather to handover the child’s custody to the father at the police station later in the day.
With regards to the contempt petition against the child’s maternal side, the High Court remarked,
The fact therefore remains that the Order passed by this Court dated 1st February 2022 and upheld by the Hon’ble Supreme Court by its Order dated 16th September 2022 has not been complied with.
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While the court noted that several attempts to handover custody in the past had failed, the physical and mental toll of the transition on the child was a pitiable plight to watch in the afternoon on Tuesday.
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The High Court accordingly ordered:
Respondent Nos.1 & 2 (Grandfather and Uncle) are directed to take the child in the precincts of Kasturba Marg Police Station, Mumbai at about 7.00 pm today.
We also direct the Senior Inspector of Police, Kasturba Marg Police Station, Mumbai to depute two Police Officers out of which one be lady Police Officer to monitor the handing over of the custody of Master ‘J’ in favour of Petitioner by Respondent Nos.1 & 2 and to assist in avoiding breach of peace or any scene created by either of the parties, if necessary.
Later in the evening on Tuesday, the child’s physical custody was given to the father amongst heavy police protection at the Kasturba Marg police station at Borivali in Mumbai.
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WATCH VIDEO: Heartbreaking Visuals At Bombay HC As Minor Son Resists Going With Biological Father During Child Custody Battle— Voice For Men India (@voiceformenind) March 1, 2023
▪️After biological mother's demise in 2019, family court had handed over custody of minor child to his maternal grandparents#ParentalAlienation
This was another similar story Voice For Men India covered in 2020, where the mother had passed away, and the father was fighting a court battle with her family over custody of minor daughter.
“After Losing My Beloved Wife To Cancer, I Was Left To Fight Child Custody Battle With Her Family” – Father’s Side
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