SC fulfils 15-yr-old's desire to be with father

SC fulfils 15-yr-old's desire to be with father
Days after granting an eight-year-old child’s custody, against her wish, to her mother, the Supreme Court on Friday went by an “unequivocal desire” expressed by a 15-year-old girl and allowed her to remain in the company of her father.

A bench of Justices A K Sikri and R K Agrawal considered the wish of the girl, who said, she was happy with her father and did not want to go with the mother.

The mother was given many opportunities by the apex court to interact with the girl.

She was allowed to remain with her daughter for one month but the court noted she unfortunately failed to gain her confidence.

The woman wanted to take the child to the UK where she was working.

The court even suggested to the woman to consider living in India for a year but she declined.

Citing its previous judgement passed in the case of an eight-year-old child, wherein the court declined to go by the wishes expressed by the girl, the bench said in the present case, the mother wanted the custody “on her own terms”.

“The circumstances, in the present case, however, are materially different. The child is a mature girl of 15 years of age. At this age, she can fully understand what is in her best interest. She is competent to take a decision for herself... She has unequivocally and without any reservations expressed her desire to be with her father. More importantly, she has very categorically said that she does not want to go to the UK,” the bench said.

The court also noted that it cannot take the risk of sending the girl to a foreign country, against her wishes, as it may prove to be a “turbulent and tormenting experience for her”.

“Within three years, she would be major and all this custody battle between her parents would come to an end. She would have complete freedom to decide the course of action she would like to adopt in her life,” the bench said.
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