In a custodial battle, the Madras High Court on Tuesday came down heavily on spouses who deny child visitation and said, “Every child has a right and need for an unthreatened and loving relationship with both parents.’”
The Madras HC was hearing a custody battle of a couple who got married in 2009 and began living separately from April 2021. The applicant claimed denial of the right to access her children. In her petition, she stated that her estranged husband had failed to follow the previous order which had given clear guidance on the custody that both spouses had to follow.
Justice Krishnan Ramasamy, who was hearing the matter, said, “To be denied that right by one parent, without sufficient justification, is in itself a form of child abuse.”
The court observed, ” The court would like to stress and impress upon the persons, who have tied the marital knot that the concept of marriage is not for merely satisfying the carnal pleasure, but it is mainly for the purpose of pro-generation, which leads to the extension of the familial chain. The child born out of the said wedlock is the connecting link between the two individuals, who have been united over a sacred oath, taken by both.”
“Any act in contravention of the oath on the touchstone of law is nothing but an act with which the hands of the binder of the link is severed. Custody of the binder, thereafter on legal principles, would render the child, who was brought into this vicious world through the act of the two individuals for their pleasure, made to suffer for no fault of his/her,” the court further added.
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Calling a child the fruit of a marriage, the court observed that marriage is the sacrosanct and holy union of two individuals. Furthermore, the court observed that bringing up a child is a duty for both parents. “Separation is a misfortune, not much for spouses, but great for the children born to them, who are the ultimate sufferers undergoing emotional pain and mental trauma silently. During separation, both spouses are not required to treat each other with equal respect or with love, but humanity demands to be nice to each other in front of their children,” Justice Krishnan Ramasamy said.
The court observed that spouses should not deny the child the company of both parents, and said that every child has a right to access both parents and get their love and affection.
Furthermore, the Court also mentioned instances wherein some parents are even indulging in parental alienation, which drives the child to behave indifferently toward the visiting parent, which is an inhuman act that deliberately poisons the minds of the children. “Severe effects of parental alienation on children are self-hatred, lack of trust, depression etc., as the children lose the capacity to give and accept love from a parent,” added the Court.
In its order, the court gave interim custody to the mother. Taking note of the fact that presently the children who are living with their father in an apartment are being taken care of by the applicant’s parents (maternal grandparents), who live in a different flat in the same building.