On Tuesday, the Allahabad High Court held that every child has a right to be in the care and company of both parents who together are his world, and in cases of estranged couples, if one parent is given custody of the child, then the other must be given visitation rights.
The bench headed by Justice JJ Munir made the above observations on a writ petition filed by one Meenakshi seeking custody of her four-year-old son who was allegedly forcefully taken away by her husband.
According to the petitioner, she and her husband, Ram Narayan were married on 20 April 2014 and on 20 September 2016 their son was born. As her husband used to torture her for dowry, in June 2018, she returned to her mother’s house with her son. She contended that on 6 April 2019 her husband forcefully took away the child from her. Therefore, she filed a petition for custody of the child.
On the other hand, the petitioner’s husband contended that he is a farmer and earns around Rs 1.5 lakh per annum but his wife has no personal source of income and is fully dependent on earnings from her ancestral agricultural land.
The court after hearing both parties observed that “issues related to custody of a child can’t only be decided on monetary factors, rather factors like intellectual guidance and moral training by parents, which are important facets of a child’s grooming, must also be considered.”
“The mother is an educated woman and a post-graduate in education. She is far better educated than her father. The welfare of the young child is not dependent on material resources alone. It requires a lot more. Literal and then intellectual guidance, besides moral training, are important facets of a child’s grooming. This court finds that all these would be better secured with the mother than the father,” stated the court.
Subsequently, the bench directed the husband – Ram Narayan to give custody of the child to the mother and also directed her to allow him to meet his son on the second and fourth Sunday of every month.