Parents cannot open accounts on social networking sites in the name of their minor children, the Bombay high court said, while deciding a custody matter on Monday. It directed a Pune resident to delete the accounts he had opened in the name of his minor daughter.
“It is a fake account in the name of a child and it is not legally permissible as the child is not 18 years old,” justice Mridula Bhatkar said, while directing the father to close the account.
The court also directed him to delete the social networking account he had opened in the name of his estranged wife and forbade him from opening any account on any social networking site either in the name of his daughter or the mother.
The Pune resident had approached the high court in January 2014 seeking urgent orders for access and temporary custody of his minor daughter, who was living with his estranged wife. He had initially sought temporary custody of the girl for Christmas vacation.
The wife had strongly opposed the plea for temporary custody contending the girl was not comfortable with her father and did not wish to go with him. Thereafter, the case was referred to a psychiatrist and on the basis of the report, justice Bhatkar refused to grant overnight access to the father.
The court, however, rejected the wife’s steep opposition to grant of access to the child contending the child cannot be compelled to spend time with her father, if she did not wish to go to him. The court noted the spouses were fighting a divorce petition in the family court and therefore were hostile towards each other, but the hostility should not come in the way of right of the child to good parenting from both the parents.
The court, therefore, not only granted access to the father, but also extended the time for which he can take the child out. The court said the father would be entitled to take the child out on the first, third and fifth Saturday from the family court premises and take her to his residence, a mall or any other such place for a few hours.