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Report No. 133

Gujarat Case

(7) A Gujarat case illustrates the same situation.1 The father had applied for the custody of a minor boy aged about 6 years through his sister, and the application was allowed by the trial court. But the mother's appeal to the High Court was allowed. The High Court pointed out that where the question is about the custody of a minor, the expression "right" is altogether out of place, unless one were to proceed on the assumption that the child is a chattel or a property of the parents.

Here, the expression is used in the sense of the obligation cast by the society on the parents. In its formative years, the child needs better care, love, and affection which can be ignored only at the point of doing great psychological damage to the personality of the child. Even if the welfare of the child demands sacrifice of the feelings and emotions of the father or the mother, the court would not swerve from its destination.

1. Sarala v. Anandrai, 17 Guj LR 581.

Removal of Discrimination against Women in matters relating to Guardianship and Custody of Minor Children and elaboration of the Welfare Principle Back

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