Your child is not a shuttle cock: SC to warring parents

"A girl-child is not a chattel," warned the Supreme Court while lamenting at the order of the Madras High Court which treated a four-year-old as a "shuttle cock" in a custody battle between her parents.

PTI| Last Updated: Jul 18, 2014, 22:35 PM IST

New Delhi: "A girl-child is not a chattel," warned the Supreme Court while lamenting at the order of the Madras High Court which treated a four-year-old as a "shuttle cock" in a custody battle between her parents.

"We are sorry the way the High Court has handled. She is treated like a shuttle cock that she has to be with mother for four days and with father for three days. Agony of the child should not be put in the manner the High Court has put. We are not satisfied with this arrangement. This has to be corrected," the bench, also comprising justices Kurian Joseph and RF Nariman said.
"The arrangement of the High Court is something which is shocking the conscience of this court," the bench said, adding that "this arrangement can`t be permitted to continue".

The bench was hearing the battle for the custody of the daughter, whose mother alleged that she was snatched from her by her estranged husband.
At the outset, the bench expressed its displeasure over the arrangement made by the High Court which allowed the girl child out of the custody of her mother.

"A girl child is not a chattel. She can`t be lifted and taken away. She cannot be removed from her mother. Law takes into account what is paramount welfare of the child," the bench observed before passing a formal order by which the father who is presently having the custody of the child "bring her" to the apex court on July 21.

"You bring the child here on Monday," the bench said while appointing two women apex court lawyers Madhavi Divan and V Mohana as mediators to resolve the custody dispute.

The bench said the two lawyers would sit with the girl child and talk with her and are also free to take whatever way they think fit to arrive at some solution and thereafter in-chamber hearing will take place.