The Delhi High Court has stayed an order granting putative father daily visitation rights, saying that competing parental rights must be subordinated to the child’s best interests

A Family Court judgement providing daily visitation rights to the alleged father of a 212-year-old child was recently halted by the Delhi High Court.

“The final ruling compels the minor kid, who is 21 years old, to be removed from the residence and taken by the respondent for two hours each day. The Principal Judge has clearly failed to weigh or consider the potentially disruptive and harmful consequences of this decision “Observed Justice Yashwant Varma.

The Bench went on to say,

“It is clear that the court went down the wrong route by attempting to assess and weigh the competing interests of parents seeking custody and/or visitation rights. Competing parents’ claims must be regarded as being subordinate to the child’s best interests, which have always and continuously been recognised as important.”

The development comes as part of a civil miscellaneous main filed by the child’s mother against a Family Court order allowing the Respondent-father to take the child out of her care between the hours of 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. every day. The fact that the Petitioner and the Respondent both lived in the same building was noted by the Family Court.

While denying this, the petitioner-mother went to the High Court, claiming that the Respondent hasn’t lived there in months and is now taking the 2 year old outside to various unknown and unannounced locations on the strength of the Impugned Order, which is disrupting the young child’s schedule.

She further argued that under the Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956, a putative father is not the same as a biological father, and that the mother’s and child’s routines cannot be subjected to such a rigorous, onerous, and unjust regime.

The petitioner had contended in front of the Family Court that because the respondent-father disputed the marriage, the kid is illegitimate, and he is not entitled to custody of the child under Section 6 of the Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956, hence visitation rights cannot be granted to him.

The respondent, on the other hand, had acknowledged the child’s birth, despite claiming that he and the petitioner had never married. As a result, he had not denied the child’s paternity and had said in the application that the child is his.

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