Can’t conclude that a woman in extramarital relationship won’t be a good mother: Punjab and Haryana HC | Chandigarh News | #Cheating | #Cheater | #marriage


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CHANDIGARH: The Punjab and Haryana high court has held that the extramarital affair of a woman is not a ground to assume that she would be a bad mother to deny the child custody in a matrimonial dispute with her husband.
“…in a patriarchal society, it is fairly common to cast aspersions on the moral character of a woman. More often than not these allegations are made without any basis or foundation. Even assuming a woman is or has been in an extramarital relationship, the same by itself cannot lead to the conclusion that she would not be a good mother to deny her the custody of her child,” observed the judge.
Justice Anupinder Singh Grewal passed these orders while hearing a habeas corpus petition filed by a woman, who is native of Fatehgarh Sahib in Punjab but now Australian citizen.
The judge has also ordered to hand over the custody of a four-and-half year old girl to the mother.
The minor girl was allegedly taken away from mother’s custody by the father.
In her habeas corpus petition, the woman petitioner (name withheld to protect her identity) informed that she was married in November 2013.
Her husband, a native of Ludhiana district in Punjab, was an Australian citizen and she later joined him in Australia.
A girl was born out of wedlock in June 2017.
The couple developed differences and when they were visiting India in January 2020, her husband allegedly took away the child on February 2, 2020, when she had gone to her parental village Naulakha.
She had left for Australia and filed a petition for the custody of the minor child in the Federal Circuit Court after which the Australian court ordered the husband to return the minor child to Australia.
In her plea before the HC seeking custody of the girl, the woman’s lawyer argued that she is well settled in Australia and has her own house, while her husband is facing financial hardship.
It was further submitted that the principle of comity of court entails that as a foreign court had passed an order, this court should direct the husband to handover the custody of the minor child to the petitioner.
The husband, however, argued that his wife was involved in an extra-marital affair with one of his close relatives and that was the reason behind marital discord between them.
It was further contended that the minor child is residing with the father and grandparents in a cordial family environment for almost a year and the change of the custody at this stage would not be in the interest of the child especially when the petitioner is living alone and thus, would not be in a position to take care of the child.
After hearing both the parties the HC ordered to hand over the custody of the minor girl to the mother.
“The petitioner, who is the mother, is seeking custody of a four-year-old girl child. The child would require love, care and affection of the mother for her development in the formative years. The support and guidance of the mother would also be imperative during adolescence. The mother is the natural guardian of the child till the age of five years in terms of Section 6 of the Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956,” ordered the judge.
Regarding husband’s allegations of extra-marital, the HC observed that these allegations against the petitioner being wholly unsubstantiated are not considered relevant to adjudicate the issue of custody of the minor child.





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