“Laws Are Made For Citizens And Citizens Are Not Made For Laws”: Orissa HC observed in Contempt Case relating to Sharing of Child’s Custody

“Laws Are Made For Citizens And Citizens Are Not Made For Laws”: Orissa HC observed in Contempt Case relating to Sharing of Child’s Custody

The matter: A Contempt Case was filed by the Father of the child against the mother of the child for wilfully violating clause (iii): “From January, 2020 onwards, in all vacations, child custody shall be shared equally by both parents”. Further, he also brought to the notice of the Court that the mother is exposing the child to immoral activity of taking nude photographs of the child on 13.6.2020 and by taking the child to the Nilofer hospital during midnight and getting his private parts tested during COVID period.

Mr. Nagesh Reddy, the learned counsel for the petitioner/father argued that the respondent/mother has filed series of complaints against the father alleging that he is committing immoral acts upon the child which amounts to serious offences under law. The said complaints were inquired into by the police and that the police have also made surprise visits to the house of the father. The police met the child at the residence of the petitioner and also verified the C.C. TV cameras fixed in the house of the petitioner including his bedrooms. But they found no incriminating material or any objectionable clippings. The police gave positive report in favour of the father and closed the file as ‘false’.

On the other hand, Mr. M.Naga Raghu, the learned counsel for the mother argued that the mother was having more concern towards the child and in order to protect the child from the clutches of the father, she has taken steps not to give custody of the child to the father during COVID period. The learned counsel further contended that the mother took the child to the hospital and also made audio and video recordings and his private parts were photographed only in the interest of the child.

The Court then added:

Overnight custody must be encouraged wherever possible and mere meeting and spending time with the parent for couple of hours in court premises, hotel, theatre, Mall, park etc., under the supervision of other parent or relative will not serve any purpose of visitation as the child will be under psychological pressure and will not be comfortable.

“Considering the impact the growing child would have against his litigant parents, the sharing pattern is decided”

Further, 

“With regard to the violation of the orders of this Court, this Court is of the considered view that the mother/contemnor has flouted the orders of this Court dated 13.12.2019 in Civil Revision Petition No.1556 of 2019 and hence she is guilty of contempt. However, since the mother expresses her unconditional apology and prayed for pardon, this Court takes a lenient view against her. She shall keep standing till the end of the Court proceedings of this day.”