Thursday, November 10, 2011

Maid no substitute for mother

Engaging a maid to take care of a child is not sufficient to fulfil the growing requirements of a child and cannot compensate for the love of a mother. A trial court made this observation while adjudicating upon a child custody case.

The girl child had been living with her father for the last four years. The court said that the absence of a woman in her father's house would hamper the development of her "personality" and that her father's better financial status was immaterial. "The services of a maid servant cannot be said to be sufficient in order to fulfil the growing requirements of a child. It is noted that the child is a girl child. The company of the mother is more affectionate and it will give certain protection to the child in developing her personality, intelligence and character," said guardian judge Gautam Manan, while granting custody of the nine-year-old girl to her mother.

Even though the girl told the court that she preferred to stay with her father, the court said she was going to get a favourable atmosphere with her mother, which would help her imbibe the right "moral and ethical" values. "The girl in her interaction with the court has stated that she loves her mother. Although she had a preference to stay with her father, but that cannot be an intelligent preference keeping in view the age of the minor," the court said.

The woman had moved the court in 2007, seeking the girl's custody. She was a housewife and had no income of her own, yet she claimed that she could take care of her daughter as her father and siblings were earning well enough to support her. She also contended that there was no woman in the house of her estranged husband, who could give the minor girl company and take care of her day-to-day needs.

The girl's father, however, opposed the plea, saying that he was financially well-off and had hired a maid to take care of his daughter while he was away at work. Weighing the contentions of both the parties, the court noted that there was nobody in the house except her grandfather to take care of her.

"In the light of the discussion, I am of the considered view that the paramount welfare of the minor is in the company of her mother," said the court. It, however, allowed the father to visit his daughter for two days every month; the girl could also spend her summer vacations with her father.

No comments:

Post a Comment