Karnataka High Court: Mother Fails To Handover Child’s Custody To Father Despite Judicial Order; Requires Her Employer To Hold Back Pay

The Karnataka High Court in the case ABC v. XYZ observed and has directed the Police to contact the employer of a woman who had failed to handover custody of her minor child to her husband despite of being the judicial officer and has also asked the employer in the case to hold back her pay.
The Division bench comprising of Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice Anant Ramanath Hegde in the case observed and has stated that the benefits payable to her be held till custody of the daughter is handed over.
In the present case, the bench was hearing the writ of habeas corpus petition filed by the father. Thus, the father was aggrieved by the non-execution of Family Court in an order passed in March last year wherein the court allowed his petition as stated under Section 25 of the Guardians and Wards Act, 1890 and the court in the case directed the mother to hand over their 7-yrs old girl child to him.
The court in the case stated that not handing over custody of the minor child to father by the wife, thus, even the said orders are passed by the court granting custody have attained finality which amounts to abuse of process of law and the same cannot be countenanced.
Further, the court in the case observed and has issued the non-bailable warrants against the wife and the court in the case directed the Commissioner of Police, Bengaluru to keep her present in court.
Therefore, the bench in the case observed and has directed the Commissioner of Police, Bangalore in order to ensure that the concerned station house officer hands over the custody of the daughter to the father, within 24 hours. The court observed and has also directed for the initiation of suo-motu criminal and civil contempt proceedings against the wife.
The bench in the case stated that the wife cannot be permitted in order to continue with the custody of the daughter as the same is in contravention of judgments of the court and which have already attained the finality and is binding on the parties.
The counsel appearing for the wife contended before the court that the daughter is not in illegal custody. However, the High Court placed reliance on Supreme Court judgment in the case Rajeshwari Ganesh Vs State of Tamil Nadu and others, wherein it has been held by the court that primary object of habeas corpus petition for child’s custody is to determine in whose custody the best interest of the child will be advanced.
It has also been held by the High Court that the aforesaid enunciation of law by Hon’ble Supreme Court, it being evident that in child custody matters, when the child is in custody of one of the parents. Thus, the writ of habeas corpus is maintainable.
The counsel, Senior Advocate S Sreevatsa for Advocate N Gowtham Raghunath appeared for the petitioner.
The counsel, Senior Advocate M.T. Nanaiah for Advocate M.C. Kumaraswamy
for R3.
The counsel, SPP-II V.S. Hegde for R1 and R2.

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