The Supreme Court has directed a Dubai-based Indian woman to allow her estranged husband to meet their son there. A bench of justices Markandeya Katju and Gyan Sudha Mishra passed the order while dealing with the custodial battle between the estranged couple, in which the father Sandip Sankar Kedia insisted that the child be sent to India and the mother Pooja Sandip Kedia refusing to do so on the ground he may not return.
Pooja had moved the apex court after the Bombay High Court directed her to produce the child before it on November 22, an order which was subsequently stayed by the bench. But the apex court keeping in view the sensitivity involved chose to adopt a balance between the conflicting claims by directing that Pooja allow her Sandip to visit their child in Dubai.
"Having heard learned counsel for the parties, we could infer that the petitioner-mother has grave apprehension that if the child is sent to India to spend the vacation with the respondent-father, the child may never return to the mother and due to this apprehension, she has vehemently resisted this application for direction.
"However, even if we were to accept this position and appreciate the apprehension expressed by the mother, we see no reason why the father should be denied the right, to meet the child at least in Dubai," the bench said pointing out that child will be having his vacation from December 17 to January 3, 2011.
Hence it said, "In order to balance the scales of justice and considering the sentiments of the father also who has a right to meet his son and also in the interest of welfare of the child who requires the affection of both the parents.
"We deem it just and appropriate to allow the father to meet his son by going to Dubai during December 17 to January 3, 2011 and in that event the mother is directed to allow the child to meet his father according to the mutual convenience of all the parties concerned," the bench said. The court said that the father be allowed "reasonable access" to meet his son from 2 pm to 8 pm (Dubai Time).