Grandma’s bond with grandchild special, but she can’t replace parents: Bombay HC
While there is a special bond between a grandmother and her grandchild, it cannot replace the natural bond between the child and his biological parents, said the Bombay high court on Wednesday while directing a Nashik resident to immediately hand over custody of her 12-year-old grandson to his parents.
The couple had moved the high court earlier this year as the maternal grandmother of their child refused to part with him. They stated that the child’s mother had been unwell and had been advised bedrest. So, in 2019 she and the child temporarily shifted to Nashik to stay with her mother.
The child was admitted to a school in Nashik and after recuperating, the woman and child were ready to return to Pune for the 2020-21 academic session, but could not in view of the Covid-19 pandemic. In May 2020, the woman returned to Pune whereas the child, by then admitted to an international school at Pune, was undergoing lessons online while staying in Nashik.
However, when the couple later went to Nashik to bring back the child to Pune, his grandmother refused to part with him. She approached police and the child welfare committee, claiming that there was a matrimonial dispute between the parents, which was adversely affecting the 12-year-old, and it was in the best interest of the child that he stay with her.
The couple then moved the high court for custody of their child.
A high court bench comprising justices SS Shinde and Manish Pitale accepted their contention, holding that “the ordinary comfort of the child, his contentment, health, education, physical, moral and intellectual development, upbringing and well-being, as also his future certainly lies with his parents.”
What weighed with the judges were the facts that the father of the child was an electrical engineer at a senior post in a multinational company, whereas grandmother did not appear to be educated and her financial condition also did not appear to be sound.