New Delhi: A woman has been asked by the
Delhi High Court to explain as to why she should not be
punished for committing contempt of court for tricking a
magistrate into awarding her son`s custody to her by hiding
that another court had given his custody to her husband.
Issuing contempt of court notice to the woman, Justice
Vipin Sanghi also imposed a cost of Rs 2 lakh on her, saying
half the money would go to her husband while remaining half
would go to the Delhi Legal Services Committee.
"I call upon the respondent (woman) to show cause as to
why she should not be punished for contempt of court. Let the requisite notice be issued to her for this purpose," he said.
"The respondent (wife) is guilty of disobeying the orders
dated September 30, 2010 and April 5, 2011 passed by the
guardianship judge by removing the child from the custody of
the petitioner and by taking the said child into her own
custody," said the high court.
"She is guilty of contempt of court as she has abused
the process of the court, calculated to hamper the due course
of judicial proceedings or the orderly administration of
justice. She has made mockery of judicial process," it added.
The court`s order came on the man`s plea against her
estranged wife. He said his son was in his custody as per a
guardian court`s order, but his wife one day suddenly took him away from his school and they secured a magisterial court`s order for his custody under the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act, hiding a guardianship judge order.
As per the man, his wife had left him in August 2010, had
secured the boy`s custody from the guardianship court and had been living with her parents in South Delhi.
The man explained to the high court that his estranged
wife, however, suddenly left for UK, living the boy in her
parents` custody and at this juncture he approached the
guardianship court for his custody, which was awarded to him, but his wife, after returning from UK, took him away.
While restoring the child`s custody to the man, the court
said, "I direct the respondent to purge the contempt by
forthwith restoring the child`s custody to her husband."
The high court also rejected the woman`s arguments that
she was not aware of the Guardianship court`s order as it was passed when she was away.
It also set aside the magisterial and the session court`s
orders, giving her the child`s custody.
"I hold the orders passed by the metropolitan magistrate
and ASJ in the proceedings initiated by the wife under the DV
Act, in so far as they deal with the aspect of custody of the
minor child, to be null and void," Justice Sanghi said.
He also slammed the woman`s lawyer for his failure to
inform the magistrate about the proceedings and orders of the guardianship court after inspecting the files.
"The counsel for the wife is cautioned for minding his
conduct in future. He is advised to adhere to the highest
standards of professionalism, ethics and integrity as an
Advocate," the court noted.