Case Title: Gautam Jindal vs. Meenu Jindal
Date of Decision: 12th September 2023
Case Number: MAT.APP. (F.C.) 154/2022
Coram: Hon’ble Ms. Justice Neena Bansal Krishna
This case involves an appeal filed under Section 47 of the Guardians and Wards Act, 1890 by Mr. Gautam Jindal (the appellant) against a judgment passed by the Family Court, Central Tis Hazari, Delhi. The judgment partially allowed a petition under Section 25 of the Guardians and Wards Act, 1890, granting limited visitation rights to the appellant with regard to his son, Vaibhav Jindal.
Gautam Jindal and Meenu Jindal got married in 2006 and had a son, Vaibhav Jindal, in 2007. They started living separately in 2009, and disputes arose between them. Gautam alleged that Meenu filed a false case against his father in 2012, which was later withdrawn. Gautam’s father passed away in 2014, after which Gautam approached Meenu to resume their matrimonial relationship, but she declined.
The Family Court had partly allowed the respondent’s petition under Section 25 of the Guardians and Wards Act, 1890, granting the appellant limited visitation rights.
The appellant appealed this decision, primarily arguing for enhanced visitation rights due to their close proximity.
- Whether the appellant is entitled to custody of the minor Vaibhav Jindal?
- Whether the appellant’s remarriage and having a son from the second marriage affect his custody claim?
- The court found that the appellant’s second marriage wasn’t conclusively proven, but evidence suggested he lived in the same property as another woman.
- The child had been in the exclusive custody of the respondent since 2009, and the appellant was not aware of the child’s school.
- The child expressed a disinclination to meet the appellant.
- The respondent was more qualified and financially stable.
- The child, at 16 years old, preferred to remain with the respondent.
Observation and Analysis
The court noted that there was insufficient evidence to prove Gautam’s second marriage but observed that he lived with another woman. The court also considered that Vaibhav had been in Meenu’s exclusive custody since he was two years old, and Gautam had limited knowledge about the child’s life. Vaibhav expressed a reluctance to meet Gautam. Financially, Meenu appeared to be in a better position.
The court cited the case of Yashita Sahu v. State of Rajasthan (2020) 3 SCC 67, which highlighted the importance of considering the child’s best interests, especially in cases where both parents are living in close proximity.
The court upheld the Family Court’s decision, stating that the visitation rights granted did not warrant interference. Citing the welfare of the child and the appellant’s infrequent interaction with the child, the court dismissed the appeal, finding no merit in it.
“PRIME LEGAL is a full-service law firm that has won a National Award and has more than 20 years of experience in an array of sectors and practice areas. Prime legal fall into a category of best law firm, best lawyer, best family lawyer, best divorce lawyer, best divorce law firm, best criminal lawyer, best criminal law firm, best consumer lawyer, best civil lawyer.”
Written by – Ananya Chaudhary