If Parents Do Not Promote Child’s Welfare, The Custody Of Child Can Be Given To A Third Person Who Is Eligible: P&H HC
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has observed that if the child’s custody with the parents does not promote the welfare of the child, the custody can be refused and a third person, who is eligible and is taking good care of the child, would be entitled to retain child’s custody.
The bench of Justice Manjari Nehru Kaul made this observation while dismissing petitioner-woman’s plea seeking to get her minor daughter released from the custody of the mother of the petitioner.
The Court noted that it would not be conducive for the well being of the child to be forcibly taken away from the custody of her maternal grandmother and be handed over to the petitioner, especially when the alleged detenue has expressed her total disinclination to even meet the petitioner much less accompany her.
The Court held that “It would be pertinent to observe here that if the custody of either of the parents does not promote the welfare of the child, the custody can be refused and a third person, who is eligible and is taking good care of the child, would be entitled to retain his/her custody.”
Advocate Jasneet Kaur appeared for the petitioner whereas Kanica Sachdeva, Asstistant Advocate General, appeared for State.
The Court noted that the child seemed to be very traumatized on account of the alleged sexual abuse by her step father. On a pointed query put to her as to why she did not want to meet or stay with her mother, she categorically stated that when she brought the alleged instances of sexual abuse to the notice of her mother i.e. the petitioner, the latter admonished her and asked her to keep quiet about it.
The Court observed that the petitioner, even after being apprised of the alleged sexual abuse by her husband, failed to come to the rescue of her minor daughter. Therefore, the Court did not deem it fit to give the custody of the alleged detenue to the petitioner.
“….the petition stands dismissed. However, it is made clear that the observations made hereinabove shall not affect the outcome of any other case/proceedings which may be pending or which may be instituted by the petitioner seeking the custody of minor child under the relevant provisions of law.”, the Court concluded.
Cause Title- XYZ v. State of Punjab & others