The Bombay high court allowed a 17-year-old boy caught in a custody battle to pursue his dream of moving to America and attending Yale, Harvard or Princeton — all Ivy League colleges. The boy recently secured admission to one America’s top 10 schools. He requested that the name of this school be kept a secret, however, the court revealed that it is a highly competitive institution, which admits only 16% of applicants.
The boy’s father had filed an appeal in the high court, challenging an April 2016 order of the Bandra family court, which rejected his plea to allow his son to move to America and study there.
“We do not need to over-emphasise how the boy will get a huge exposure if he studies in America. The move will also help him develop his personality,” said justice Rajesh Ketkar.
The judge cited section 26 of the Family Court Act, 1984, which empowers judges to take into consideration the wishes of the child, while passing orders regarding his or her custody. The judge said he questioned the boy, who said he was keen on studying in the USA.
Justice Ketkar called the boy “extremely bright and intelligent”. He said the boy was also a talented sportsman. While the boy’s mother said she does not want him to move away from her, the judge said he decided to ignore her protests in favour of the fact that they boy is a US citizen, and under US laws, he is entitled to get a driving licence, vote and make his own decisions.
The boy told the court that the school he was accepted into counts Olympians and Noble Prize winners among its alumni. The school, which has a 800-acre campus, prepares students for admission to Yale University. In 2013-14, 33 of the school’s students got into Yale, 19 got into Harvard and 16 secured seats at Princeton.