Should a child be subjected to psychiatric probes because of a custody battle between her parents?
The Supreme Court on Monday said it would examine the issue after a man from the United States challenged a Cuttack high court order directing a girl and her parents to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.
A bench headed by justice J Chelameswar stayed the March 13 HC order asking the three to meet the psychiatrist on July 27. The SC issued notice to the girl’s mother and the Centre for their response to the father’s plea.
Appearing for the father, advocate Prabhjot Jauhar condemned the order for not being in the interest of the child.
Sanjay Panda (name changed) had moved the HC seeking a direction to his estranged wife to hand-over his daughter’s custody to him. He alleged his daughter had been forcibly taken away by the mother in violation of a US court order, which specifically orders her to bring the child back to California.
Jauhar said the HC could not have gone into the merits of the case as his client had a US court order in his support.
“The HC cannot go into the issue of who should get the child’s custody because a foreign court has already decided it,” Jauhar contended.
The couple got married in November 2004 and the child was born on December 23, 2007 in California. However, the couple parted in 2013 when the wife returned to India with the child after Sanjay filed for divorce.