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Thursday, January 27, 2022

Sentiments and welfare of minor are supreme consideration: HC

The Bench of Justice Sant Parkash, was hearing the habeas corpus petition filed by a woman seeking release of her five-year-old daughter from the custody of her father-in-law and mother-in-law.

Written by Jagpreet Singh Sandhu | Chandigarh |
January 8, 2022 4:45:45 am
Punjab and Haryana High Court (File)

Observing that “sentiments and welfare of the minor are supreme consideration that cannot be ignored”, the Punjab and Haryana High Court (HC) dismissed the plea of a mother seeking custody of her minor child, and handed the custody to the minor’s grandparents.

The Bench of Justice Sant Parkash, was hearing the habeas corpus petition filed by a woman seeking release of her five-year-old daughter from the custody of her father-in-law and mother-in-law.

On May 27, 2020, the petitioner, her husband, daughter and in-laws had “kheer” in dinner. The entire family complained of food poisoning and was admitted to a hospital in Bathinda. Though the family was discharged after treatment, the petitioner’s husband died on May 30, 2020. Thereafter, her in-laws got and FIR registered against the petitioner holding her responsible for the death of her husband. During investigation, police did not find any evidence that pointed at the petitioner but her in-laws took away her daughter.

The counsel for petitioner alleged that she being the mother of a minor, is her natural guardian. Once the natural guardian is alive, no other person can claim her custody. Thus, her in-laws have no legal authority to detain her daughter. Also, the FIR was cancelled in January 2021. The counsel for the grandparents of the minor girl submitted that the minor is not in illegal custody, rather under protection of her grand parents. After the death of their only son, they are looking after her by providing every facility. Not only this, petitioner herself left her matrimonial home and abandoned her daughter. The counsel also submitted that, cancellation report was submitted by investigating agency but that report was rejected by the court of competent jurisdiction.

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