In mother's absence, father is the guardian: HC

In mother's absence, father is the guardian: HC

The Bombay High Court has granted custody of a minor boy to his father, who was accused of murdering his wife, after observing that in the absence of a mother, a child’s natural guardian is the father.

A division bench of justices P V Hardas and A S Gadkari was hearing a petition filed by Amol Pawar, seeking custody of his two and a half year son who was being looked after by his maternal grandfather after he was arrested for allegedly murdering his wife. Amol got married to Ramesh Dhotre’s daughter in November 2010. In March 2012, she died due to burn injuries following which Amol was arrested and booked for murder and harassment.

In April 2013, a sessions court in Satara acquitted Amol from the charges following which he sought custody of his son from his father-in-law.

“Since the petitioner has been acquitted and he is the natural guardian of the minor child, the petitioner cannot be deprived from obtaining custody of his minor child,” the high court said. It also noted that till date the  government has not preferred an appeal against Amol’s acquittal.

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