8888677771 | Chief Justice Helps Resolve Custody Dispute In 2 Weeks

The couple agreed that the child would stay with the mother for two years. (File)

New Delhi:

The intervention of the Chief Justice of India has ensured an amicable settlement of a child custody dispute in just a fortnight. Showing his humane side, Justice DY Chandrachud asked the additional solicitor general to speak to the parents and the child and, during the final hearing, also asked the eight-year-old – in Hindi – how he was doing in school. 

The parents of the child (all names are being withheld to protect their privacy) got married in 2014 and trouble began in their marriage a year later. According to the woman’s petition, their son was born in July 2015 and, just a couple of months later, she was asked to leave her matrimonial home because her husband had quit her job and their family members said they wouldn’t be able to support her and the infant. 

After several ups and downs, the husband sent her a divorce notice in 2021. With the divorce pending, he went to meet the child and took him away earlier this year, promising to return him to his mother in Lucknow on June 26. When he failed to do that and did not answer her calls, the mother went to Dehradun to meet the boy, only to find that her husband and his family had moved to Delhi. 

She went to Delhi and, when she could not find the family, filed a petition in the Delhi High Court asking for the child to be produced. When the hearings began, she found out that the boy had been taken to Dehradun again, outside the court’s jurisdiction. She finally moved the Supreme Court and asked for him to be produced.

Agreement Reached

During a hearing of the case on October 17, the bench headed by the Chief Justice heard the mother’s side. Keeping in mind that an eight-year-old’s future was hanging in the balance, Justice Chandrachud asked Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati to speak to the parents and the child and see if the matter could be resolved between them.

At the next hearing on Monday, Ms Bhati informed the court that she had called them to her house and spoken to them and they had all agreed that the child would stay with the mother for two years and the parents would take a mutual decision on what comes next after that. 

While speaking of the meeting, Ms Bhati said that the child seemed very intelligent and this prompted Justice Chandrachud to turn to him and ask in Hindi how he was doing in school. The child replied that he hadn’t been attending school because it was in Lucknow and he had been travelling with his father. 

Expressing satisfaction with the agreement, the bench closed the matter and also granted a divorce to the parents. 

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