Separated parents hanker to meet their children

Rally on eve of Father's Day seeking joint custody, equal legal status

All Ajay Rajashekhar, wants on this Father's Day is to meet his children—a nine-year-old son and a five-year-old daughter—who now stay with his wife after their separation.

He was one among the many parents and grandparents deprived of their children and grandchildren’s company, who had gathered on Wednesday at a press conference by the Bengaluru unit of Child Rights and Shared Parenting (CRISP). CRISP announced a rally from 10 am to 12.30 pm at JC Road on Saturday, the eve of Father’s Day.

The 41-year-old father owns a software business, a family, plush accommodations and a lot of things others yearn for. However, he is denied the chance to meet his own children. Rajashekhar talked of how he could not continue with meeting his children twice a month for just a few hours each. “After we separated two and a half years ago, I filed for custody and she filed for divorce,” he said, adding that the fleeting meets with his children are just not enough.

Having been unable to spend little quality time with the kids, which he says is because his wife either poisons their minds or intervenes during their meetings, he has now filed for an interlocutory application in court to allow him more time with his children from morning to evening at his home.

His other demands are in line with what CRISP is calling for, and what they will highlight in their June 20 rally. A primary demand is the implementation of the Law Commission's May 2015 report that recommends equal legal status and joint custody of children to both parents.

They are also demanding quicker disposal of all cases pertaining to child custody, preferably within six months, grandparents' access to grandchildren, besides a separate ministry for children and punishment for those who misuse family laws.

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