Justice Ajay Rastogi opines in the case between Soumitra Kumar Nahar versus Parul Nahar, Civil Appeal No(s). 1670 of 2020 arising out of SLP (Civil) NO(s). 6201 of 2016 that in a custody battle, no matter which parent wins but the loser is always the child and it is the children which pay the heaviest price as they are shattered when the court gives the judgment. It is a dispute which arises from the family court and reached the Apex Court of India. The Judgment given by the High Court Delhi was plague by Soumitra Kumar Nahar which partly allowed the appeal with the direction to the wife Parul Nahar to comply with consent terms qua the visitation rights of the appellant to meet his son but the visitation was declined to meet the daughter by the respondent. An application was submitted by respondent in the High Court of Delhi of which order came on 12th May 2016 directing the Psychotherapist to ascertain the background facts regarding the relationships of Children with their Father and Paternal grandparents before they join the sole custody of the mother.
The Appellant and Respondent married under the Hindu rituals and customs on 10th December 2001. They were blessed with a bay-girl on 24th May 2005 and a baby-boy on 10th October 2008. The matrimonial differences cropped up after second birth of the son and parties made personal allegations and counter-allegations against each other, which the appellant to file Guardianship Petition No. 56 of 2011 on 15th April 2011 under the Sections 7, 8, 10 & 11 of the Guardianship and Wards Act 1890. There was a separate application was filed seeking Divorce Petition under the Hindu Marriage Act on the grounds of cruelty and adultery. The High Court of Delhi gave a Judgment after hearing the argument from both sides on 5th February 2013 granted an interim mandatory injunction in favour of the plaintiff-father directing the Respondent to vacate the property and handover the peaceful possession of the same to the plaintiff. The Bench consisting of Justices A.M Khanwilkar and Ajay Rastogi opined “It is undisputed that the rights of the child need to be respected as he/she is entitled to the love of both the parents. Even if there is a breakdown of the marriage, it doesn’t signify the end of parental responsibility. It is the child who suffers the most in a matrimonial dispute”.
(i) All pending applications were disposed of by the bench.
(ii) The liberty of parties to take steps in filing the guardianship petition for the minor children before the competent court of jurisdiction.
(iii) Taking the note of the interest of the minor children as a paramount consideration being the sufferers of the matrimonial discord.
(iv) The grandparents were not deprived of the love and affection of their grandchildren.
(v) The Divorce petition under Hindu Marriage Act shall be decided by the Court expeditiously not before than 31ST December 2020.
Edited by J. Madonna Jephi
Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje
- Bar & Bench, Child always the loser in custody battles, no matter which parent wins: Supreme Court https://www.barandbench.com/news/litigation/child-always-the-loser-in-custody-battles-no-matter-which-parent-wins-supreme-court-read-judgment
- News18.com, Children Always Lose in Parents’ Custody Battles, Pay Heaviest Price: Supreme Court https://www.news18.com/news/india/children-always-lose-in-parents-custody-battles-pay-heaviest-price-supreme-court-2506181.html