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High court refuses to separate girl from mother who works at a bar

By Kanchan Chaudhari, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON NOV 29, 2019 01:01 AM IST

The Bombay high court (HC) rejected a city resident’s plea seeking custody of his minor daughter on the grounds that the child needed to be saved from the “ill influences” of the occupation of her mother, who works at a bar.

The petitioner moved the HC with a habeas corpus petition seeking custody of his daughter from his estranged wife. He claimed he married the woman in May 2014 only after her parents assured she would “follow the life of virtue” after marriage.

The petitioner said the woman, along with their four-and-a-half-year-old daughter, left their home in December 2017 after some dispute, and returned to her previous occupation.

He, therefore, sought the girl’s custody, claiming that her future was “at stake”. He said it was necessary for him to have his daughter’s custody in order “to ensure the welfare of the daughter and protect her from the ill influences” of his wife.

The division bench, comprising justices SS Shinde and NJ Jamadar, however, refused to entertain the plea in view of the fact that the petitioner was not unaware of the woman’s avocation and that there was no material to indicate the child was in illegal custody.

The bench noted, “The fact that the child is a four-and-half-year-old cannot be lost sight of.” “At such a tender age, a girl child is in need of the care and protection of her mother,” it added.

On the allegations about the mother’s avocation and its effect on the child’s future, the bench said these aspects can be considered by the family court in appropriate proceedings.

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