‘Your child is not your property’ – Khalil Gibran
The appellant, Paramjit Singh, is the father of Sahir and Ameya, aged 9 and 7. It was alleged that earlier the whole family was living in America, but about five years ago the mother, Ekta Gyani, brought the children to India; for the past five years, they have been residing with their mother in Chandigarh. Paramjit’s plea for custody of the children was rejected by the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Rejecting his appeal, the Bench said: “We are of the opinion that it will not be in the interest of the welfare of the children to give their custody to their father. It is evident that since the age of 4 and 2 the children have been living with their mother in India. Hence, obviously they must have developed an emotional attachment to their mother. In such circumstances, it will be a terrible psychological trauma if they are torn away from their mother and handed over to their father.”
But the petitioner was entitled to visitation rights, the Bench said. It issued notice to the mother to decide on this question and posted the matter for further hearing on August 19.
It is notable that in a similar case in the Bombay High Court, the judges warned the parents against making their children pawns in their games and told the parents not to bring the children to the court during custody hearings.