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Madras HC Sets Aside Order Requiring Wife to Offer Tea, Snacks to Estranged Husband During Visitation

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Madras HC Law Insider

Sakina Tashrifwala

Published on: September 29, 2022 at 22:15 IST

The Madras High Court has permitted an appeal by a woman against a single judge judgment directing her to treat her estranged husband like a “Athithi” (Guest) during kid visits and display hospitality by offering snacks and meals, among other things.

The panel of Justice Paresh Upadhyay and Justice D Bharatha Chakravarthy stated that the single judge was misled by what the parties should do to each other and that setting such restrictions was irrelevant for determining their rights.

“We find that, learned Single Judge, while attempting to facilitate visitation, is swayed away by what should be the conduct of the parties towards each other, including serving of snacks/tea to the other side.”

“We find that, prescribing such stipulations and many of the observations are less relevant for deciding the rights of the parties, or to address the grievances of the parties. The same therefore call for interference.”

The single judge recognised that the youngster needed affection from both parents when deciding on the husband’s visiting rights.

As a result, the parents needed to create a joyful environment for their child.

It stated that even if the couples do not see one other as husband and wife owing to personal indifference, they should nevertheless treat the visiting parent as a “Athithi” (Visitor) and exhibit warmth and empathy to the guest.

When the case came up for appeal, the wife claimed that the single judge’s views did not resolve the parties’ rights but rather preached what the wife should do to her husband.

She went on to say that she had found work in Gurugram and that the child had been accepted into a school there. As a result, she found it impossible to stay in Chennai and requested that the order be modified.

The husband, on the other hand, objected to the petition, claiming that if the kid was transported to Gurugram, it would be impossible for him to see the child.

Considering that the kid had been living with the wife throughout and her schooling, the court determined that the youngster should stay with her mother in Gurugram.

This, however, should not be interpreted as a disobedience of court instructions, according to the statement.

The court overturned the single judge’s decision and instructed the father that, with advance notice, he might investigate the possibilities of travelling to Gurugram.

He was free to approach an appropriate forum if he had any difficulties.