Bombay High Court: The Bench of R.G. Ketkar, J. while deciding on a petition concerning the interim custody of a child stated that, “it is settled law that while considering the interim custody, welfare of child is paramount consideration.”

It has been stated that the learned trial judge had rejected the application made by the petitioner for the interim custody of his son, Ishan and had directed the respondent, Gauri Kulkarni to handover son, Ishan on every Sunday so that he would enjoy the company of their son.

Facts of the case are that Prasad for the betterment of son Ishan, along with his wife Gauri decided to shift from Sangli to Pune with Ishan’s grandparents, thereafter Gauri took away Ishan forcibly to Kolhapur and that is when the present petition was filed.

It was stated that, learned trial Judge observed that during the course of interaction with Ishan, he found that he is very brilliant and is able to understand right or wrong. Ishan showed his desire to pursue further education at Kolhapur itself instead of any international school at Pune and informed the learned trial Judge that he has now adjusted himself at Vibgyor School, Kolhapur. Therefore, it became clear that he was reluctant to go with his father and not willing to pursue education at Pune.

In the present petition, Prasad asserted that trial Judge did not appreciate the fact that, Ishan had told the trial Judge about not being able to cope up with the CBSE Board Curriculum at all and that he was facing a lot of mental tension along with sleepless nights.

On these assertions, the matter was fixed at the Chambers of the present High Court Bench of Bombay, wherein the interactions between the parties along with Ishan separately had taken place. During the course of interaction, Ishan empathetically made it clear that he wants to stay in Pune and join Symbiosis school so that he can pursue his hobbies in sports and more. Also on interacting with Gauri, it was noted that she had no objection if Ishan wanted to shift. Though she stated that for any ailments she should not be held responsible and the grandparents of Ishan and Prasad should take care of him during such period.

Thus the High Court held that welfare of Ishan lies in his shifting to Pune and studying there so as to pursue his hobbies. [Prasad Vilas Kulkarni v. Gauri Prasad Kulkarni, 2019 SCC OnLine Bom 238, dated 31-01-2019]

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