“Foreign culture corrupts.” With these words, a father made one last, desperate bid to stop his ex-wife from moving to Australia with their seven-year-old son. But his argument failed to cut any ice with the Delhi High Court.
Rohit Kumar, who lives in Delhi, and Pritam Sahni, who works in Australia, separated five years ago when Amit was just two
(all names changed). On Tuesday, Kumar lost his appeal in the high court against a lower court order giving Sahni the go-ahead to move abroad with Amit.
The high court rejected Kumar’s argument and granted Sahni permanent custody — on the condition that she visit Delhi twice a year and let Amit stay with his father during that period. Sahni agreed.
Also, Amit’s declaration to Justice Aruna Suresh that he did not want to stay with his father pretty much made up the court’s mind.
“The child has been brought up according to Hindu cultural values and traditions. Exposure to a foreign culture would be detrimental to his ethical and moral development,” Kumar told the court.
But Justice Suresh said: “Much has been said about the Indian cultural environment in which the child is brought up...
Nothing’s been said about how the child’s health, education, physical comfort and moral values would be affected if he is allowed to live with his mother in Australia.”
“I am of the view that bringing up the child... in the protection of his mother... is likely to be more conducive to the welfare of the child.”