HC directs mother-in-law to hand over child to mother

HC directs mother-in-law to hand over child to mother

HC directs mother-in-law to hand over child to mother

Marriage by a woman after the death of her husband to another person will not embargo her from claiming the custody of child born to her from the wedlock of the first husband, the Madras High Court has said.

Allowing a habeas corpus petition filed by Subha, who married again after the death of her husband, seeking to produce her daughter Kaviyasi in the court, a division bench comprising Justice S Tamilvanan and Justice C T Selvam, said "the petitioner is admittedly the mother and natural guardian of the minor Kaviyasri whose father is no more."

"Solemnising second marriage with another person after the death of her earlier husband is not an illegal or improper act. We are of the view that the claim of Subha is legally sustainable. There is no legal embargo for the petitioner in seeking the custody of her daughter", the judges said in a recent order.

Kaliyammal, mother of the deceased husband of Subha, can not seek custody of the child legally, the court said. "Kaliyammal is directed to hand over the custody of the child Kaviyasri to Subha forthwith", the judges said.

Subha submitted that she was married to one Menon Babu in September 2010 and out of the wedlock Kavyasri was born. After her husband committed suicide in June, 2013 she stayed at her father's house along with the child, Subha submitted.

On February two this year, she married Suseendran. While returning from school on February 25, Kavyasri was "kidnapped by Kaliyammal and others in a van", she submitted.

Though she lodged a police complaint about the incident and seeking custody of the child, no action was taken following which she moved the court seeking a direction to the police to produce her daughter before the court.

"After the death of her husband, the petitioner was free, as per law, to decide her second marriage. It is the legal right of the petitioner which cannot be construed as an illegal act. Merely because the petitioner married another person after the death of her husband, she cannot be said incompetent to be the guardian of the child", he court said.

"The petitioner is the mother and natural guardian of Kaviyasri", the court said.Suseendran also filed an affidavit stating that he was willing to take care of Kaviyasri as a dutiful father. He also assured the court that that he along with Subha would take care of the welfare of the child and extend all support for her study.

The bench directed Kaliyammal to hand over the child forthwith and directed the Nagapattinam police to provide necessary assistance in handing over the child.

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