“…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,” Justice Anupinder Singh Grewal observed while hearing a habeas corpus petition filed by a woman from Fatehgarh Sahib, in Punjab, who is now an Australian citizen.
The judge also ordered that custody of the four-and-a-half-year-old daughter be handed to the woman.
In her petition, the woman petitioner (name withheld to protect her identity) said she had got married in 2013. Her husband, a native of Ludhiana, was an Australian citizen, and she later joined him in Australia. They had a daughter 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.
He contended that the minor child had been residing with him and her grandparents in a cordial family environment for almost a year and that change of 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.