A Delhi court has denied a man the custody of his minor son, who has been living with his maternal uncles after the death of his mother, stating that handing over the child to his father would give the 12-year-old boy mental and physical trauma.
Additional District Judge Sunil Rana dismissed the man’s plea seeking his son’s custody, saying the child does not even recognise his father, whom he had not seen for past several years, and he does not want to live with him.
“….This court is of the opinion that the paramount consideration in determining the question as to who should be given the custody of a minor child is the ‘welfare of a child’ and not rights of the parents.
“This court is also of the opinion that wishes of the minor are to be given due weightage and as per the wishes of the child are concerned, he does not want to live with his father, whom he has never met and seen before and wants to be in the custody of his maternal uncles, who are looking after his welfare,” the court said.
The court said the child’s custody cannot be granted to the father as the same would not only cause trauma to the minor but also affect his studies and future.
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“It is neither in the interest of the minor child nor for his welfare…. Hence, the custody of the minor child cannot be granted to the father. The petition is hereby dismissed and stands disposed of accordingly,” the court said.
The court was hearing the petition of the man, a resident of Wazirpur, seeking his son’s custody saying that he married in March 2000 and his wife left his matrimonial house with her son in October 2004. The wife reportedly died in October 2007 due to tuberculosis and since then, his son has been residing with his maternal uncles.
The man said he was a supplier of readymade garments and has the income to look after and educate his son.
The child’s maternal uncles, however, opposed the petition, saying that the minor has been living with them for past nine years and he has developed an emotional attachment with them.
If his custody would be given to his father, it would cause him mental and physical trauma, they said, claiming that the man was a drunkard and it would have a bad impact on him.
The court said if the minor’s welfare requires that his custody should not be given to the father, he cannot get it merely because he happens to be the father as “the paramount consideration is the welfare of the minor rather than the right of the parent”.
It noted that the child has been studying in Class VI in a reputed school and was doing well in studies and has been properly looked after by his maternal uncles after his mother’s death.
“The minor child has expressed that he was happy with his maternal uncles and desired only to live with them as they have been looking after him very well. It was also important to note here that in the meeting of the child with the father in the chamber, it was observed by the court that child has been emotionally attached to his maternal uncles and has not even recognised his father as he has never seen him before,” the court said.