2nd marriage no ground to deny child’s custody: Court

2nd marriage no ground to deny child’s custody: Court

NEW DELHI: A man’s  second marriage cannot be a ground for denying him custody of his child, a Delhi court has said while granting guardianship of a 10-year-old boy to his father who remarried after his wife’s death.

The boy had been living with his maternal grandparents since his mother’s death. Guardian judge  Gautam Manan rejected the grandparents’ contention that it would not be in the child’s interest to live with his stepmother.

“The second marriage of the petitioner cannot be held to be a disability,” the court said, noting that the man’s elder daughter was living with him and being brought up well by her stepmother.

“There is no evidence that the stepmother of the child has maltreated the sister of the minor… (who) is getting a good education,” the judge said, allaying the grandparents’ fears.

‘Dad can impart moral values to child’

The court said the man, a resident of Begumpur in south Delhi, “being the natural father of the minor, is more likely to impart moral and ethical values in the child”. It added the company of the child’s elder sister will be “fruitful” in his growth.

The man, earning Rs 12,000 a month, had approached the court seeking permanent custody of his son, who had been living with his maternal grandparents since he was seven months old.

Agreeing with his arguments, the court said the grandparents themselves were old and had to support their five unmarried children, none of whom had come forward to take responsibility for bringing up the boy.

The court also said the aged couple had failed to demonstrate how they were ensuring the boy got a good education. It said there was a huge age difference between the aged couple and the child, due to which they could face difficulty in taking care of him.

The grandparents have been granted visitation rights to the child twice a month.

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