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Woman keeps son away from hubby, gets jail PDF Print E-mail
(1 Vote)
Written by Times of India   

A Subramani, TNN 

CHENNAI: In an extraordinary ruling, the Madras high court has sentenced to one month civil imprisonment a woman who refused to allow her estranged husband to visit their son despite court orders in the man’s favour. 

Justice M Jeyapaul of the Madras high court, who passed the order, however, stayed it till November 27 to enable the woman to attend a mediation programme in New Delhi and file an appeal.

The Jain couple hail from business families in the city, and their son is six years old. 


“Here is a case where the woman, who is a well-educated person, has intentionally disobeyed the orders of this court not on one or two occasions, but during the entire period of one year and three months. Taking into account her adamant attitude, the court is not inclined to show any leniency,” Justice M Jeyapaul said. He also imposed a fine of Rs 2,000. If she fails to deposit the amount, she has to serve another 15 days in prison. 

For over a quarter century now, the Supreme Court has been consistently holding that the child’s custody and parents’ visitation rights would be decided based on a “sole and predominant criterion” of the best interest of the minor child and not the legal rights of the warring parents.

Even while holding that neither of the parents could claim to be the natural guardian of a child, the apex court ruled in 2004 that the remarriage of the mother could not be a disqualification for either claiming or safeguarding the custody of the child.

Earlier this week, talking about the wealth gap between estranged parents, the apex court held that the promise of a luxurious lifestyle and quality education for the child could not be the primary factor in settling custody disputes. Neither of the parents should flaunt his or her riches to seek custody of the child, it had said, adding: “Ultimately, it is the child who suffers. We are not so much concerned about the individual riches or the ego of the estranged parents. No amount of luxury or riches can give the child the affection and love of the father or the mother. We are more concerned about the human angles involved.”

 

 



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