High court stays lower court order on child custody

Last Updated: Thu, Jul 29, 2010 15:00 hrs

The Delhi High Court Thursday put a stay on a trial court's order allowing interim custody of two minor children to their father after the mother alleged it was being forced on the children.

The direction came on a petition filed by Mandira (name changed), working as a director in the cabinet secretariat, against the lower court order alleging that the court passed the order despite the explicit unwillingness of the children to see their father.

The Mandira's children had earlier thrice recorded their statement in the court stating their disinclination to meet their father. Mandira married Sunil (name changed), an industrialist in 1996.

The couple have two children, aged 13 and 6, from their marriage. Mandira had filed a Domestic Violence Act case against her husband in May 2008. The court handed custody of the children to their mother, but allowed the father to see the children on Sundays for two hours. Later the court handed interim custody of the children to their father.

Prabhjit Jauhar, counsel for the petitioner, said: 'The court did not consider the wishes of the children and handed over custody to the father.' He cited that earlier an Additional District Judge had interviewed the children for the purpose of grant of visitation rights and the children showed their disinclination to meet their father.

'The judge noted that there is no finding that the children were either tutored or turned acrimonious by the mother. Three times the children have recorded their statement before a judge,' contended Jauhar.

Thereafter, Mandira moved the court alleging that her daughter has developed suicidal tendencies as she is unhappy meeting her father on visitation. She even placed a psychologist's report as record.