AN HIV-positive mother cannot be deprived custody of her child, the Delhi High Court has ruled asking in-laws of a widow to hand over the two-year-old son to her.
“There is no law which can deprive a mother of her child because of AIDS,” Justice Geeta Mittal said when the counsel appearing for in-laws contended that custody of the child cannot be given to their daughter-in-law as she was an AIDS patient. “You are only grandparents while she is the mother. She is already suffering, why do you want to make her suffer more by depriving custody of her child,” Justice Mittal said.
The court rejected the contentions of father-in-law Ram Gopal Verma, his wife Phoolwati and other members of his family and directed them to bring the child before it on Tuesday when the child would be handed over to the mother.
The in-laws then pointed out that Sunita Verma, their daughter-in-law, was of bad character as she was suffering from the disease prior to marriage and it would have bad influence on the child.
The court, however, took strong exception to the argument and said that the disease was not inflicted only through physical relation but it could be transmitted due to blood transfusion.
"It is unfortunate that after losing her husband she has been deprived of her child. She cannot be deprived custody of her child just like a convicted father cannot be deprived custody of his child,” the court said.