Saturday, May 19, 2012

Grandpa tilts scale of justice for dad in custody row

Grandpa tilts scale of justice for dad in custody row

By Mail Today Bureau in New Delhi

IN what would remind one of a scene from an Amitabh Bachchan- starrer, a somewhat evenly poised custody battle between a couple ended in favour of the husband because he has his father living with him.

The Supreme Court recently granted custody of two sons to the father after noting that the grandfather of the children would be in a position to look after the children and infuse good cultural values in them.

The battle till the high court was evenly poised with the father getting custody of the elder son aged 15 and the mother getting custody of the younger son, who was nine years old then. The high court had granted custody of the younger son to the mother after noting that she would be in a better position to understand the needs of such a young child.

The mother submitted that the father was an IAS officer and, presently occupying a stressful position in Jammu and Kashmir, would leave the children in the care of servants. She also pointed out that the children were studying in a good school in Delhi and would not get a better school in the state.

The case tilted in favour of the father after he submitted before the Supreme Court that he had his father, who retired as a professor, living with him who can take care of the children.

This could be seen as a replay of a film of yesteryears in which Bachchan, boasting about properties he had amassed in life, is left spellbound when his screen brother stresses that his asset was his mother.

Among other things, the Supreme Court noted that the two sons were close to each other and it would not be just and proper to separate them.

Coming to the final decision, the court recognised the contribution of the grandparents to the family and decided to consider the presence of a grandparent as one of the parameters for deciding as to where the welfare of the children would be best served.

“ Normally, grandparents can spare more time for their grandchildren and especially the company of well- educated grandparents would not only help the children in their studies but also help them imbibe cultural and moral values,” the court observed.

“ We are sure the appellant father, who is a member of the Indian Administrative Service and is a well- groomed person, with the help of his father, a professor, will be able to take very good care of the children,” the court said.

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