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IT IS THE MOTHER’S RIGHT TO HAVE THE INFANTS INTERIM CUSTODY FOR THE PURPOSE OF BREASTFEEDING: PUNJAB AND HARYANA HIGH COURT

This particular decision is upheld by the High Court of Punjab and Haryana through the division bench of Justice Sureshwar Thakur in the case of Kamlesh Rani v State of Punjab and ors(CRWP-4561-2022)

FACTS

The Petitioner-mother got married to her husband in 2017. In January 2022, she gave birth to a boy and after a period of 20 days, she left along with the infant boy to her parental home, and, subsequently returned to her matrimonial home in May 2022. While she was still at her matrimonial home, her husband, after snatching the infant boy from her, made her leave his house, on the pretext, that he had solemnized marriage with another woman. Though, up till the age of seven years, ordinarily the custody of a minor boy or a minor girl, can be validly assumed by his or her natural mother, but yet the attempts qua assumption of custody by the aggrieved parent, through, a writ of habeas corpus being made, upon the parent concerned, in whose custody the minor boy or minor girl, aged about seven years rather is, imperatively enjoins upon, the habeas corpus Court, yet to become seized of cogent, and, tangible evidence supportive of the factum, that the parent concerned, in whose custody the minor child rather is, evidently not taking the optimum care of all his requirements relating to his nourishments, and, the best care giving to him by the parent concerned.

JUDGEMENT

the custody of minor infant aged about four months, is restored from father to the petitioner i.e. the mother. The above custody shall not be permanent but shall be only interim, and, shall last only up till the survivals qua the requirements of breast feeding of the infant boy, by his natural mother. The requirement above, shall be pronounced by a proficient pediatrician. In case, the above pronouncement occurs, thereupon, if there is no compromise amongst the parents of the minor child, in respect of his custody, thereupon, each of them may recourse appropriate civil remedies for there throughs, the custody either interim or permanent of the infant boy, being either with the biological mother of the minor infant, or, being with his putative father, arrayed as co respondent No. 4 in the petition i.e. father.  It is clarified that immediately after the competent pediatrician pronounces with respect to, there being no longer any requirement of the minor infant becoming breast feed, thereupon each of the combatants qua the custody of the infant boy, shall proceed to either draw a settlement, or, a compromise in respect of his custody, or shall with utmost promptitude recourse civil remedies, so that the civil court concerned, upon apposite evidence becoming adduced before it, makes the promptest order either, with respect to the interim custody of the minor boy or, with respect to his permanent custody, being either with his biological mother or, with his putative father.

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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY NAISARGIKA MISHRA

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