The Supreme Court has restored custody of two minor children to their father after holding that the kids cannot be forcibly restored to the mother lest it traumatises them.
A bench of Justices Aftab Alam and T S Thakur, however, granted visitation rights to the estranged wife Jaya and had a word of advice that she should endeavour to build affection towards the children and "gradually restore her position as a mother."
The apex court passed the order while setting aside a Bombay High Court order granting custodial rights of the children of Kumar Gaurao and Kumar Kunal aged 11 years and 9 years to the mother, Jaya, who divorced Vishnu, an Railway Police Force employee.
The High Court had granted the custody to Jaya, residing in Bhopal, despite the fact that the children were staying with their father in Maharashtra for seven years, during which the mother had no access to them.
The apex court, after personally talking to the two children, including the elder one who is mentally challenged, came to the conclusion that the children preferred to stay with the father rather than the mother.
"Both the children were very clear and firm that they want to live with their father and they do not want to go with their mother. The elder son was not even able to recall the name of the mother."