The Allahabad High Court has 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.
Justice JJ Munir passed the order on Tuesday on a writ petition filed by Meenakshi seeking custody of her four-year-old son who was allegedly forcefully taken away by her husband.
The court 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.
According to the petitioner, she and her husband, Ram Narayan were married on April 20, 2014, and on September 20, 2016, their son was born. As her husband used to torture her for dowry, in June 2018, she returned to her mother’ house with her son.
Petitioner’s contention was that on April 6, 2019, her husband forcefully took away the child from her. Therefore, she filed a petition for custody of the child.
The father’s contention was 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, “The mother is an educated woman and a post-graduate in education. She is far better educated than the 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.”
The court directed 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.