It should always be for the betterment of the child and the wellbeing of the child should be considered first while dealing with cases concerning custody, guardianship of the child. There should be a just environment drawn to ensure that in a situation where there is a conflict between the parents, the child is not harmed and can flourish to the fullest. This remarkable judgement by the Supreme Court in the case of Mrs Ritika Sharma versus Mr Sujoy Ghosh [Civil Appeal Nos. 3544-45 of 2020] by the Hon’ble Justice Dr Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud. J.
The appellant was a working lady who was currently working in Singapore. The parties to suit were married on 4th February 2009. After a series of conflict between the two, they decided to part ways in 2016. The child stayed with the mother after they separated and before that he stayed with the parents. The appellant filed for divorce too on the ground of cruelty before the Family court. The appellant wanted to take the child along with her to Singapore and have a custody of him as the child stayed with her after he was born. She contended that her parents too were looking after the child.
The responded challenged her petition on the grounds that she did not take care of the child since birth and it was the parents of the appellant who helped her while she was engrossed in her job. The responded further stated that letting the child go with her would result in the child go out of the jurisdiction of the court and it was the respondent who filed for the custody of the child in the family court. On reply to this the appellant stated that she as well as the child had an Indian passport so it was impossible for them to go away from the jurisdiction of the court. She further stated that the child would be admitted to the Global International School in Singapore.
The court contended that “The jurisdiction of this Court under Article 142 of the Constitution is a facilitative constitutional instrument to advance substantive justice. In exercise of these powers, we are of the view that the arrangement which has been arrived at during the pendency of the proceedings should be modified so as to best subserve the interests of the child.”
The court said that “A balance has to be drawn so as to ensure that in a situation where the parents are in a conflict, the child has a sense of security. The interests of the child are best subserved by ensuring that both the parents have a presence in his upbringing.”
Also the court stated that “In matters such as the present, the welfare of the minor child is of paramount concern”.