Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A working woman can take care of her children and her job is not a reason to deny her custody of her child

A working woman can take care of her children and her job is not a reason to deny her custody of her child, the Bombay high court has ruled. A division bench of Justices Vijaya Kapse-Tahilramani and M L Tahaliyani threw out a habeas corpus petition filed by a 35-year-old Nagpur resident, Nilesh Sathe who sought custody of his five-year-old daughter from his estranged wife saying she had a full-time job.

"Working women are taking care of their children very well and it should not be the grounds for disturbing the custody of the child," said the judges. They added that considering the age of the child, keeping her in the custody of the mother would be preferable to sending her to live with her father. "It is not the case that the father is jobless and he can take care of the child the whole day," the judges said.

Sathe in his petition said that Neelima had left her matrimonial home last November. He alleged that Neelima, in April 2011, forcibly took their daughter from his home with the help of police personnel. He urged the court to direct the police to produce his daughter and hand over her custody to him.

The police denied using force and told the court that Sathe had taken away his daughter from Neelima's custody. Later, when they visited Sathe's house the child had rushed to the mother. The police claimed they had attempted to reconcile the couple but did not succeed.

Sathe claimed that since his wife was a working woman, she could not pay attention to their daughter and this would affect her welfare. He further alleged that Neelima's sister was an antisocial element and her mother (the child's grandmother) was having an illicit affair.

The court said that there was no proof about the allegations against the grandmother. "No material is placed before us to show that the grandmother is too old and is not able to take care of the child," said the judges. They held that the custody of the child could not be taken away from her just because she had a job and dismissed Sathe's petition.

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