In patriarchal society, it’s common to cast aspersions on woman’s character, says HC
The Punjab and Haryana high court has said that in a patriarchal society, it is fairly common to cast aspersions on the moral character of a woman.
“More often than not, these allegations are made without any basis or foundation. Even assuming a woman is or has been in an extramarital relationship, the same by itself cannot lead to the conclusion that she would not be a good mother to deny her the custody of her child,” the high court bench of justice Anupinder Singh Grewal said, while granting custody of a minor girl to an NRI woman.
The woman had approached high court seeking custody arguing that the child is, at present, 4 ½ years of age and the mother is the natural guardian of the child as per the Section 6 of the Hindus Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956, wherein the custody of a child under 5 years would be with the mother
The husband had alleged that the woman was involved in a relationship with one of his relatives and the relationship led to a marital discord between them. It was also argued that the minor child is residing with the father and grandparents in a cordial family environment for almost a year and the change of the custody at this stage would not be in the interest of the child, especially when the woman is living alone.
The court observed that no supporting material has been brought before the court by husband and the allegations against the woman being wholly unsubstantiated are not considered relevant to adjudicate the issue of custody of the child.
“Modern times are replete with the instances of children raised by a single parent having grown as responsible adults contributing to nation building in various fields,” the bench said, rejecting the argument that the child raised by the single parent would be at a disadvantage.
The court also took note of the fact that there is an order of the Australian court in the woman’s favour, who is settled in that country and earns well. “I am of the considered view that it would be in the best interest and welfare of the child if her custody is handed to the mother,” the court said ordering the transfer of custody.