‘Grandparents will take better care than aunt’, SC has ruled on the child orphaned during the Kovid period
SC said this for grandparents
A five-year-old boy who lost both his parents to COVID-19 last year. For his custody, his grandparents had reached the Supreme Court against the High Court’s decision. Concerned about the child’s health and education, the grandparents had sought custody of the child. Hearing on which on Thursday, the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the child’s grandparents and in its order said that the grandparents will take better care of the child than the aunt.
Grandparents always ‘better care’ for their grandchildren
The Bench observed that they are more eligible for the custody of the grandson than the aunt of the child as the grandparents would be more attached to the grandchildren. The court said that the grandparents have more rights over the child than the maternal side. A bench of Justices MR Shah and Aniruddha Bose observed that in Indian society, grandparents always take ‘better care’ of their grandchildren.
71 year old grandfather had sought custody
The apex court’s order came on a petition filed by 71-year-old grandfather Swaminathan Kunchu Acharya, who along with his 63-year-old wife was aggrieved by the Gujarat High Court order ordering the aunt to give custody of the child. .
The child lost his parents to Kovid in May 2021
This set aside the order of the Gujarat High Court, which had given custody to the aunt at the age of 46. The Ahmedabad-based child lost his father on May 13 and his mother on June 12, 2021, and later the Gujarat High Court granted his parental custody to the child’s aunt. After which the grandparents approached the Supreme Court for the custody of the child.
Aunt given the right to meet the child
The High Court had given custody to the maternal side of the child observing that the aunt was in a central government service and was unmarried while the grandparents were living on pension. The top court observed that income cannot be the only criterion for depriving the rights of grandparents, who are more attached to the child. The minor will get better education in Ahmedabad than in Dahod. However, the court said that the aunt can have the right to meet the child and she can meet the child at her convenience.
Child custody income may not be the sole criterion
The apex court rebutted the High Court’s decision, saying income cannot be the sole criterion for denying custody to the grandparents of the parents. Thus, the custody given to the aunt has been canceled and will now be with the grandparents. The bench also urged both the parties to put aside their bitterness.