Woman denied custody as minor prefers father over mother
New Delhi: Observing that disturbing a minor`s custody against his wish may cause "depression and demoralisation", a Delhi court rejected a woman`s plea seeking custody of her minor son.
The court denied the woman`s plea for custody after it noted that her son was "able to form an intelligent preference and has shown his complete unwillingness to meet his mother or go with her".
"Admittedly, he is about 10 years of age and a student of 6th class and desired not to meet his mother in future at any point of time," District and Sessions Judge Vinod Goel said.
"It is not desirable to disturb the custody of the minor as stability and security are essential ingredients for full development of child`s talent and personality. Disturbing his custody from father to mother may cause depression and demoralisation in the mind of the minor which may prove to be harmful for his growth and development," he said.
Prior to giving his decision, the judge interacted with the minor in his chamber in presence of both his parents and found that the child was mature enough to form an intelligent preference and did not want to meet his mother or go with her.
It also relied on section 17 of the Guardian and Wards Act which says if the minor is old enough to form an intelligent preference, the court may consider that preference and it shall not appoint or declare any person as his guardian against his will.
The court passed the order on plea of a woman from northeast Delhi seeking custody of her son who had been living with her estranged husband since 2009.
The woman got married in 2001 and their son was born in 2003. She alleged her husband was addicted to drugs and alcohol and was treated at National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences in 2005-06. She claimed that in August 2009, her husband turned her out of the house and did not allow her to meet their son.
She said they ended their marriage in 2010 after which the minor`s father remarried and is not taking proper care of their son.
The child`s father, however, denied all the allegations, including those about him being addicted to liquor and drugs. He said he has been taking due care to the child. He also alleged that the woman had herself moved out of the house and had made his life hell by her rude behaviour.
The court noted that the woman had failed to give any evidence to support her allegations.
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