The Bombay high court on Monday rejected a woman’s plea, seeking permanent custody of her seven-year-old biological son. Instead, it appointed the boy’s uncle and aunt as his guardians, who have been taking care of him since he was seven days old.
“It would be unfair and unjust to alter the child’s present family situation,” said Justice Roshan Dalvi, while rejecting the mother’s plea for the boy’s permanent custody.
The judge took into consideration that allowing the mother the child’s permanent custody would mean “uprooting the child from his present home and surroundings”.
The court noted from a counsellor’s report that the boy was happy, well settled in the family of the uncle and aunt and had bonded with their children.
The uncle and aunt had approached the high court seeking to be appointed the boy’s guardian and also injunction against the mother from disturbing his custody. The woman had claimed the boy’s custody on the ground of being his biological mother.
The boy’s father died suddenly about eight years ago. His mother left him with the uncle and aunt when he was only seven days old.
The woman claimed that the child was taken away from her fraudulently.
The woman remarried and her elder son is with her. Her second husband’s child from the previous marriage too lives with them.
The high court found some substance in the mother’s excuse for delay in claiming the child’s custody. The woman claimed that she was depressed due to her husband’s death and also because of her elder son’s ill health.
The court observed that though the mother may not be faulted for the delay in claiming the child’s custody, the fact remains that he grew up in the uncle’s home.
In this backdrop, Justice Dalvi thought it appropriate not to uproot the boy from the present family environment.
The judge has, however, allowed free access to the mother and his elder brother. Both are allowed to meet the boy once a week and the mother is allowed to take him for a week during his holidays.