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Mother Can't Be Denied Child's Custody For Not Fitting Into Mould Set By Husband: Chhattisgarh HC

The couple in question married in 2007. The child was born in the same year. 

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After hearing a plea on the decision made by the family court in Chhattisgarh about the custody rights of a woman, the Chhattisgarh high court said that the woman cannot be denied the child's custody because she does not fit into the mould as per her husband's desire. The court set aside the judgement made by the family court which granting custody of the child to the father.
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This observation was made on March 28 and the detailed account of the judgement was made available yesterday. The judgement stated that the certificate by a few members, with an "ostrich mindset", of the society should not be allowed to decide a woman's character.

The case was being heard by the division bench of Justices Goutam Bhaduri and Sanjay S Agarwal. The lawyer of the woman Sunil Sahu said that the husband had moved to the Mahasamund district family court in 2014. This was to seek the custody of the child. The husband had raised questions against the woman for being in the company of different men and also travel with them. Along with this, the husband also mentioned the woman's attire.


Suggested Reading: Unmarried Daughter Can Claim Marriage Expense: Chhattisgarh High Court


Chhattisgarh HC Child Custody

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The man cited all the above reasons and finally gave the argument that all of them would lead to having an adverse impact on the child. The couple in question married in 2007. The child was born in the same year.

Sahu also said, "They got divorced with mutual consent in 2013 following which the custody of the child was given to the mother. The family court in 2016 handed over the custody to the father."

Post which, the woman challenged the family district court judgement and stated that it was passed on the basis of presumption. After hearing the case, the Chhattisgarh HC decided to quash the 2016 order, while rejecting the evidence presented by the former husband.

The court also stated that if the woman was to do a job and if her field demanded her to move from one place to another, so be it. They added that just because she is required to rub shoulders with men and the public, one cannot infer that she has lost her chastity. While citing the statements made by the former husband that the woman is addicted to liquor, smokes and wears jeans, the court said that it is important to draw the line over character assassination.

The court order stated, "Only bald oral statement is made that she is addicted to consume liquor and smoke, etc. It is important to set a red line when the attack is made to assassinate the character of the lady. The statement of witnesses of plaintiff would show that they are largely influenced by attire of women as she wears jeans and T-shirt along with the fact that she is marching along with male members of society."

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