Mumbai Court: Refused a minor daughter’s custody to a working mother

The Mumbai Court recently refused a mother interim custody of her 8-year-old child on the basis that she is staying as a paying guest and does not have the capabilities to look after the child.

Facts of the case

 The Appellant claimed that she was married in 2010 and things were going very well but as time passed the behavior of her husband’s family changed towards her. In the year 2019, her in-laws took away the child from her and told her to leave the house.

Metropolitan Court

The Appellant had filed an application under Section 12 of the Domestic Violence Act along with an application under Section 21 of the Act for the interim custody of her daughter to which the Metropolitan Magistrate passed an order dated 2nd January 2021 rejecting the grant of custody. After being aggrieved by the said order she approached the Sessions court and stated that the order passed by the Metropolitan Magistrate is on the wrong grounds. They failed to consider the fact that her minor daughter forcefully and illegally taken away from her who was just 5 years old at that time. The Appellant is the natural guardian and the biological mother and the Court also failed to consider the fact that Respondent No. 1 had abused her for attending her daughter’s recital program in school. She prayed to the Court for the order passed by Metropolitan Magistrate to be quashed and set aside.

Respondent No. 1 opposed this appeal. He submitted that the Appellant will have a bad influence on the minor daughter. He further made some allegations against the Appellant.

 Findings of the Sessions Court

1 Did the Appellant prove that the Respondent committed acts of Domestic Violence?

There has been a case of molestation by the Respondent towards the Appellant but no acts of Domestic Violence. Hence the Appellant fails to prove any such incidents nor are there records to support her allegations. 

2 Whether the Appellant is entitled to the temporary custody of her daughter?

The Appellant is a working woman whereas Respondent No. 1 is also a working person but happens to reside with a joint family. When the Appellant goes to work there is no one to take care of the child. The Court also considered the allegations against her made by Respondent No. 1 that talk about her character. Hence the court refused to hand over the temporary custody of the child to the Appellant. 

3 Whether the impugned order warrants any interference?

Since the Appellant could not prove the incidents of domestic violence nor she could properly take care of the child due to her work. The Court stated that the impugned order warrants no interference.

Sessions judge S N Salve noted that the Metropolitan Magistrate observed rightly that at this stage handing over the child’s custody is improper. Hence the appeal was dismissed and the Metropolitan Court’s order was upheld.


Sources: Bar and Bench.


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