Child's custody should be with mother even if she has a job: HC

These observations were made by justices Vijaya Kapse-Tahilramani and M L Tahaliyani who dismissed a habeas corpus petition filed by a Nagpur resident seeking custody of his five-year-old daughter from his estranged wife on the ground that she had a full time job and would not get time to pay attention to their child.

"Considering the age of the child, we are of the view that keeping the child in the custody of the mother shall be preferable than in the custody of father," the bench noted.
"It is not the case that the father is jobless and he can whole day take care of the child. Working women take care of their children very well and it should not be the ground for disturbing the custody of the child," the judges observed.

The judges were hearing a petition filed by the husband saying that his wife had deserted him after a fight and had gone to her mother's house, taking along their minor daughter. He urged the court to produce the child  and hand over her custody to him.

It was the case of the police that they had not exercised any force and that the husband had forcibly taken away his daughter's custody from the mother. They further said that when they visited the petitioner's house along with the latter's wife, the daughter rushed to meet her mother.

The police said that they had attempted to bring about a compromise between the couple but could not succeed.

The petitioner further argued that the child's grandmother was very old and was not in a position to take care of the child. However, no material was placed before the court to prove his claim.

The husband also said that his wife was employed and, therefore, could not take care of their daughter. Hence the child's custody may be given to him.

However, the court held that the custody of the child could not be given to the father just because the mother had a full time job.

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