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A child needs the love and affection of both the parents for a good upbringing: Bombay High Court

The decision that a father should be given access to meet his minor child because a child needs the love and affection of both the parents for a good upbringing is upheld by the High Court of Bombay through the learned bench led by HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE MILIND N. JADHAV in the case of WRIT PETITION NO. 6070 OF 2022.

FACTS OF THE CASE- Brief facts of the case are that the couple, i.e. the child’s parents got married in 2012, and their son was born in April 2015. They got divorced and have been living apart since September 2016. Their divorce case under the Special Marriage Act is still pending at the family court. She had also asked for custody as well as support relief and she was having the full custody of their child. The father had requested overnight access to his child during summer vacation from April 30 to June 5, which the family court had granted. The mother appealed to the High Court via the present case, requesting that the father only have daytime access to the son in the Family Court facilities in Bandra’s children’s room.

The Counsel for petitioner, Ms. Kavita Karnad contended that there were safety concerns if the child was left overnight with the father. She also contended that since her mother-in-law died, there was no lady in his household who could take care of the child.

The Counsel for respondent, Mr. Akash Vijay, on the other hand, claimed that the mother agreed to overnight access when she signed the permission requirements, but did not follow through.

The Hon’ble judge interacted with the child in his chamber observed that the father-son bond was strong, and the boy had no inhibition in communicating with the respondent (father) and reminiscing about the pleasant old recollections of time spent together in the past. The court observed that there was no trust gap between the two and the child showed no fear, infact he was highly reciprocative. The court also noted that the boy, who was four and a half years old at the time, had visited Dubai for seven days with his father and grandfather in December 2019. The court changed the dates of overnight access because seven days of the overnight access granted by the family court had already been used. The court concluded that both parents shared responsibilities, and that even if they were divorced, they still had to shoulder the major responsibility of rearing and development of the kid. And t o do this, the child requires both parents’ love, affection, and quality time. Setting aside the squabbles , the most essential focus should be on the child’s development in his formative years, which is highly significant for his age because he has a high intellectual quotient (IQ).

The HC has ordered the father not to take the child outside of India for any travel or vacation as a precaution. Apart from providing sufficient care for the child, the father has been instructed to allow the child to communicate with the mother twice a day, or as the child desires. The mother was also reprimanded by the court for making disparaging remarks about the judges. The court said that  the Petitioner (mother) should avoid from criticising judges and focus solely on the facts of the case.  The HC stated that merely reporting unnecessary English words in pleadings cannot improve the substance and character of the case.

JUDGEMENT- Thus, the Bombay high court, granted overnight access of the young kid to his father so that he could spend his summer vacation, stating that a child deserves the love, affection, and quality time to be spent with both the parents for general growth, and that separated parents must put their past and animosity aside for the sake of the child. 

JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY- ATIVA GOSWAMI

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