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SC observes: Age, Income and Size of the Family Not the Sole Criteria for Deciding Custody of the Child

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Shashwati Chowdhury

Published on: June 10, 2022 at 18:55 IST

The Apex Court recently observed that income, age and a bigger family can’t be the sole criteria to decide in child custody matters.

The Bench of Justices MR Shah and Aniruddha Bose made these views while giving custody of a minor (5) to his grandfather, who had lost both of his parents to Covid.

In this case, the paternal grandfather approached to the High Court that the child’s maternal aunt refused to let him meet him or enter his son’s home. However, the High Court granted the aunt custody of the child, prompting the grandfather to appeal to the Supreme Court.

The grandfather argued in court that just because he is 71 years old and his wife is 63 does not mean they are incapable of taking care of the child.

The aunt, on the other hand, argued that she is in a better position to care for the child.

After hearing the arguments, the Bench noted that just because the aunt is younger and has an independent income does not mean she is better suited to care for the child.

The grandparents, according to the Court, will always take better care of their grandchildren. The court went on to say that grandparents love the child’s interest more than the principle, and that because they are emotionally attached to the child, they will take better care of the child.

While setting aside the High Court order, the Bench said that the current order shall subject to the final outcome of the proceedings under Section 7 of the Guardians and Wards Act,

“We request both, paternal grandparents and maternal aunt & her family (on maternal side) to act jointly and cordially and have cordial relations which shall be in the larger interest of the minor. We request to all the concerned to forget bitterness and forget the past and look in the future taking into consideration the future of the minor, who unfortunately, has lost his parents at the age of five years only. With this hope and trust, we close the present proceedings, the court observed while disposing the appeal.”

With these remarks, the Court urged the parties to achieve an amicable agreement in the best interests of the child, and then proceeded to dismiss the appeal.