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SC: Separate Proceedings arise if man is not given Custody of child under Domestic Violence Act

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Child Custody Visitation Family Law Insider

Shivani Gadhavi

Published On: February 10, 2022 at 17:34 IST

The Supreme Court on February 9 observed that if a husband is not allowed to seek custody of his child or has been denied the right to visit his child under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act then this situation might lead to the occurrence of multiple proceedings.

The Three-Judge Bench comprising of Chief Justice of India N V Ramana, Justices Hima Kohli and A S Bopanna was hearing arguments pertaining to a very important question of whether a man can be considered as an aggrieved under the Domestic Violence Act if he is not given a right to visit his child or given custody of the child.

The case pertains to a complaint filed the wife of the Petitioner under the Domestic Violence Act. In this regard the husband then filed an application before a Trial Court for visitation rights of their children, which was allowed by the Court.

But a Sessions Court had quashed the order of the Trial Court and a High Court subsequently confirmed the Order of the Sessions Court.

In this regard, the Supreme Court had sought assistance from the Attorney General for India, K K Venugopal who submitted that under Section 21 of the Domestic Violence Act, a man cannot be considered as an aggrieved and that only a woman may be considered as an aggrieved, for seeking custody of the child concerned.

The Attorney General also submitted that a husband can approach a Court under any other Act, in order to acquire custody of the child.

The Bench in response to this stated that “You must understand, already there are enough acts, Maintenance Act, the Guardians and Wards Act, the Domestic Violence Act, 4-5 acts are there. They’ve to move from Court to Court. Now we are adding another Court. It’s time for legislature to look into this.”

The matter in regards to the issue of a husband seeking custody and visitation rights for his children, under the Domestic Violence Act, so that no other separate case is formed will be brought up for further discussion by the end of February 2022.