Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday denied impleadment of child custody to paternal grandparents, noting that working woman cannot take care of child is “fiction of polluted mind”.
Justice Augustine George Masih was hearing a revision petition preferred by the paternal grandparents of a 3-year old male child challenging the order passed by a Civil Judge (Senior Division), wherein an application moved by the petitioners under Order 1 Rule 10 read with Section 151 CPC, for impleading them as respondents to the petition by the mother of the child under Section 6 read with Section 13 of the Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956, for permanent custody of the child, who is presently residing with the father, has been dismissed. Both the mother and the father are Advocates by profession.
Allegations By Father
Allegation on the part of the father was that after joining the profession, the mother started maltreating the child and also did not care for the toddler. There was a quarrel between them, after which the respondent mother abandoned the child and left the matrimonial home two years ago. Even when the couple lived together with husband’s parents, the petitioners who are grandparents of the minor child, took care of the said minor as both the respondents remained busy with their practice.
Observation By High Court
Punjab and Haryana High Court noted that a lady who is an Advocate by profession cannot take care of her child and would not be able to watch the welfare of the child, is a “fiction of a polluted mind”, where a working woman is “looked down upon as a careless and carefree person”, ignoring the fact that she also is a mother of the child.
Branding lady lawyers as a class as irresponsible is unacceptable and, therefore, the welfare of the child, which includes moral and ethical values, is least expected to be protected and secured by such grandparents, who have narrow outlook towards life and society.
The plea of the petitioners, therefore, with regard to the inability of respondent No.1 to look after the welfare of the child because she is an Advocate by profession, is unacceptable.
Welfare of Child
This cannot be measured by money or by physical comfort alone, which probably appears to be a consideration on the part of the petitioners overlooking the factum of the love and affection and the natural affinity of the parents to a child.
Welfare as a word is not to be given a restrictive meaning but has to be read in the widest amplitude and the Court has to decide with regard to the welfare of the child as to who would better promote the same.
Had the petitioners been interested, as is asserted, in the welfare of the minor child, they should have, at the very outset, moved an application for being impleaded as a party to the lis at initial stage. It is only after the proceedings have been expedited by this Court vide order dated 30.05.2019 that the present application for impleading the petitioners as party has been filed on 10.10.2019.
This leaves no manner of doubt that the application preferred by the petitioners for impleading them as a party is not a bona fide exercise on their part. The trial Court has seen through the hidden plan and has rightly dismissed the same.