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Woman misled court to get son’s custody PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Jayant Sriram   

The Delhi High Court has asked a woman to explain why she should not be charged with contempt of court for tricking a magistrate into awarding her son’s custody to her even though a civil court had earlier awarded custody of the child to the father.

Issuing notice to the woman, Justice Vipin Sanghi also imposed a cost of Rs 2 lakh on her, saying half the money would go to her husband, while the remaining amount would go to the Delhi Legal Services Committee.

The court order came on the husband’s plea filed against his estranged wife. The couple have four children. Three of them were living with the husband while the youngest was with the wife. The husband later filed an application before a guardian court seeking custody of the fourth child. In the interim, the wife had gone to UK and left the boy with her parents who later left him at the husband’s house. Seeing that the child was already living with the father, the guardian judge granted him custody.

The husband told the High Court that when his wife returned, she took the boy away from his school, and then secured a magisterial court’s order for his custody under provisions of the Domestic Violence Act. But she hid relevant sections of the guardianship court order which had given custody of the boy to the husband.

“The conduct of the respondent, seemingly aided and supported by conduct of her counsel, clearly tantamount to playing a fraud upon the court dealing with the Domestic Violence Act proceedings, as well as upon the petitioner (husband) ... The respondent has made a mockery of the judicial process,” the judge said.

The court said that the orders of the magistrate, passed under the Domestic Violence Act, should be considered null, and that the woman must return the boy to his father.

“I call upon the respondent (woman) to show cause as to why she should not be punished for contempt of court,” Justice Sanghi said.

He also slammed the woman’s lawyer for his failure to inform the magistrate about the proceedings and orders of the guardianship court after inspecting the files.

“It is such conduct of counsel which brings the noble legal profession into disrepute and erodes confidence of the litigating public and the courts in the professionals practicing the legal profession,” Justice Sanghi said in the order.


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