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The mother had raised objections to granting custody of the child to the father, citing allegations that he was accused of raping a minor and was booked under the POCSO Act
A division bench of the Bombay High Court has recently granted custody of a child to his father while observing that there is no question of the mother's objection as she had already surrendered her claim over the child.
The division bench of the high court comprising Justice Revati Mohite Dere and Justice Sharmila Deshmukh was hearing a habeas corpus petition filed by the father seeking directions to be issued to the Child Welfare Committee to hand over the custody of the child to the father.
The mother had raised objections to granting custody of the child to the father, citing allegations that he was accused of raping a minor and was booked under the POCSO Act. However, the bench determined that the child's biological father had never surrendered or abandoned the child. In fact, he had made extensive efforts to secure custody of the child.
The mother, at the age of 17, discovered her pregnancy. Subsequently, the couple fled to another state. The mother's father filed a kidnapping case against the child's father, leading to his arrest. However, he was later granted bail.
Meanwhile, the mother had given the child to the Child Welfare Committee and got married to another man.
In response to the objection regarding the father's booking under POCSO, the court said,
“We may also note that Ms. Agnes was unable to point out any provision of law including any provision under the JJ Act, which would disentitle the petitioner from getting custody of the minor child,” the bench said.
The division bench also concluded that the objections presented by Ms Agnes were baseless and irrational. Moreover, the court said considering the father's biological relationship with the minor child, there is no impediment to granting him custody under the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case.
Case title: ABC vs XYZ
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