The Delhi High Court Monday asked the parents of a three-year-old boy not to dwell on inconsequential incidents and keep their son’s best interests in mind while hearing his Ukrainian mother’s plea accusing her former husband of “kidnapping” and bringing the child to India illegally.
When the matter was called for hearing on Thursday, both parties — the Ukrainian mother (along with the couple’s daughter) and the father, were present in person along with the boy.
During the hearing, Sravan Kumar, appearing for the mother, submitted before a division bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Talwant Singh that as per the instructions of the court the mother had interacted with the child at the court creche Friday. Kumar said that the father was trying to control the boy, adding that “the child recognised his mother…and the father was asking the child to address her as aunty. There were also some abusive words that were used…”
As Kumar was making submissions via video conferencing, Justice Mridul asked him to appear in person as it was a habeas corpus case and requires sensitivity.
Kumar’s co-counsel present in the court submitted that the father did not allow the child to accept food from the woman.
At this point, addressing the mother’s counsel, Justice Mridul said, “You are digressing into issues which are collateral. It is not as if the child is not fed or is hungry. It is wonderful that he is recognising the mother and his elder sister. These are not the issues…This is a habeas corpus petition; you must understand the scope and ambit of it. You must meet the boy rather than complain all the time. It does not benefit (the child). We don’t want any negativity around him.”
The bench said that the case should not turn into a ‘don’t do this and don’t do that’ case. The bench asked the father to let the child interact freely with the mother, to which Gupta said that his client will comply.
Appearing for the father, advocate Harsh Gupta submitted that when the mother met the child at the creche, she put a mark on his leg. Reacting to this, Justice Mridul said, “So what? How does it matter? You are taking into an issue which is inconsequential. She is his mother. Mothers can do no wrong.”
Justice Mridul added, “All of you can’t see wood from the trees. Idea is to let the mother interact with (the boy). You please meet again today.”
The HC further asked the parties not to “articulate inconsequential incidents”, stating that they hoped that the parties understood what fell from the bench.
The bench directed, “The father states that he will escort the boy to the Delhi HC creche immediately upon the conclusion of today’s hearing and permit him to interact with his biological mother and sister till 5 pm. Directed accordingly. The parties are directed to remain present in person before this court tomorrow as well as 2.15 pm.” The matter is next listed on November 29 at 2.15 pm for further consideration.
As a parting note, the bench asked the counsel for the mother and the father to impress upon their respective clients to “make the most of these moments as that is what is truly important”.