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Child needs quality time with both parents for healthy growth
Barkha Tharani Vs Avinash Suresh Tharani
WRIT PETITION NO. 6070 OF 2022
About/from the judgment:
A child needs the love and affection of both parents, the High Court recently observed while permitting a father to get overnight access to his child in a custody battle with his wife.
The vacation judge was approached by the mother of the child against an order of the trial court permitting the father to have overnight access to the child.
The Court emphasized that children need love, understanding and company of both the parents for their healthy growth.
“The parties in this case should not forget that both parents have common responsibilities, most importantly been together would be an ideal case but even if they are separated they still have to helm the primary responsibility of upbringing and development of the child. For this, the child requires the love, affection and quality time to be spent with both the parents. Leaving apart the acrimony between the parties before me, at this stage the most important focus should be aimed at the development of the child…” the judge opined.
The Court, therefore, upheld the trial court order.
“What is important to be seen is whether the child has love and affection towards the parents rather than the other way round,” the judge observed.
The factual matrix in the case was that the couple got married in 2012 and separated in 2016. Their child was born in 2015.
The woman initiated the process for a divorce with also included applications for custody and maintenance.
During the pendency of the divorce proceedings, the family court granted the father overnight access to the child from May 17 to 30, 2022.
This was challenged by the mother in High Court through the present case.
After interacting with the child in his chambers, the Court deduced from child’s demeanour and body that his bond with his father is strong.
“If the Petitioner has a genuine apprehension then such an apprehension has to be backed by cogent material... There is not a singular incident that I have came across while reading the entire record to compel me to believe that the apprehension of the Petitioner is well founded. Just as the Petitioner is the mother of the child it should not be forgotten that the Respondent is his father and from the record it is clearly gathered that he is a doting father,” the Court noted.
The Court found the auditory senses of the child drawn towards what the father was speaking.
"There was no trust deficit between the two or any fear shown by the child.”, the judge recorded in the order.
Upholding the order of the lower court, the Court modified the dates on which access was granted since 7 days had already elapsed after the family court order.
The child was permitted to remain with the father from May 24 to June 5.
As a precautionary measure, the father was directed not to take the child outside of India for any trip or holiday.
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