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GENERAL OVERVIEW

The Bench of Justices Ashok Kumar Verma and Augustine George Masih observed that during a girl's teen years, she looks up to her mother or a female companion for assistance and can share her issues comfortably with the mother.

They mentioned that there are various things that a daughter can't possibly discuss with her father, and therefore the mother of the child is the best company, and best person to take care of her at her age.

Mothers role in a child's life is important, unless there are any justifiable reasons to not let the mother visit her child, she has all the rights to play an important part in the child's growth.

The Court stated that as a 13 year old girl, she will need her mother's help and support during the crucial phase of life, it being the biological changes, therefore her custody with the mother is essential.

FURTHER DETAILS

This decision came out after the appellant, the father of a 13 year old girl- challenged the decision of the Family court that allowed his wife to take over the custody of the same 13 year old girl.

The family Court gave custody of the 13 year old minor to the respondent, the mother on 30th May 2017, and the appellant/Father, who is a practicing lawyer- filed an appeal under Family Courts Act, 1984, section 19(1).

He claimed that as a lawyer and as the father of the child, he is the natural guardian with every right to claim custody of his daughter, and also claimed that there would be irreparable damage to the child's welfare if she is allowed to be under the custody of her mother.

Retaliating to this, the mother's counsel stated that she is a well educated woman, and can provide quality education to the daughter- and the child's welfare itself demands the custody of her daughter be under the respondent/mother.

CURRENT SCENARIO

The Court observed that in general situations, the father is better suited to look after the children, given their status, being the usually working member and head of the family.

But in certain situations, if not all, the Court always considers the welfare of the child in question, and then determines the custody.

The Court also noticed that during the times of examinations, the child has fared really well under her mother's guidance and care, thus showing the Court that the mother/respondent is very capable of providing quality education to her daughter, as compared to the father/appellant, which, the Court stated as "the most essential ingredient for the welfare, betterment and all-round developments of the minor girl."

Stating that the role of a mother in the child's life is important, the Court also said "the company of a mother is valuable to a growing up female child unless there are compelling and justifiable reasons, a child should never be deprived of the company of the mother."

The Court did not find any irrationality in the judgement of the Family Court, but did however grant the appellant visitation rights for meeting his daughter twice a month, at any place and time as agreed by the parties.

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS? DO YOU AGREE WITH THE OPINIONS OF THE BENCH? LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!

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