High Range ATMs No Substitute For A Natural Mother: Karnataka HC [Read Order]

High Range ATMs No Substitute For A Natural Mother: Karnataka HC [Read Order]

Allowing a habeas corpus Petition filed by the mother of a seven-year-old girl, the Karnataka High Court on Thursday asserted that an ATM cannot be considered a substitute for a mother, and rejected weak financial status as a parameter to deny the child's custody to the mother.

The Bench comprising Justice Budihal R.B. and Justice K.S. Mudagal observed, "Motherhood/parenthood requires totally different qualities and outlook than a high range ATM card. High range ATM cards are not the substitute for a natural mother. That is why our scriptures have declared “Janani Janma Bhoomischa Swargadapi Gariyasi” meaning thereby that mother and motherland are greater than the luxuries of even the heaven."

The Court was hearing a Petition filed by a woman alleging that her sister and sister's husband had illegally detained her daughter. The Petitioner had been divorced in Canada and had obtained the sole guardianship of her daughter. She had thereafter handed over the custody of her daughter to her mother, till the time she could return from Canada. However, in the meantime, the Petitioner's mother began living with the Respondent couple, who grew attached to the Petitioner's daughter. They then refused to return her back.

Taking note of the facts of the case, the Court noted that the moment the couple refused to give custody of the child to the Petitioner, the continuation of her custody with them traversed into illegal detention. It, in fact, opined, "Such intentional act on the part of respondent Nos.1 and 2 even amounts to the offence of kidnapping punishable under S.361 of IPC. Therefore there is no merit in the contention that the writ petition is not maintainable and respondent Nos.1 and 2 are in legal custody of baby Tanishka."

The Respondent (sister's husband) had then highlighted the fact their annual income was Rs. 26,00,000, and that the Petitioner would not be able to maintain the standard of living that he was providing to the child currently. The Petitioner, on the other hand, had submitted that the Respondent suffered from mental health issues, including schizophrenia.

The Court then took note of various posts made by the sister's husband on social media, inferring, "The above postings show that the first respondent has the contemptuous feelings against his own mother, motherland, mother-in-law, sister-in-law and against female. The postings further show that he has indulged in alcohol, pornography, and unhealthy sexual acts. The said postings are disgraceful, contemptuous, highly distasteful and distorted. Those postings reflect the mindset of the first respondent.

The thoughts of an individual translate into his actions. The quality of the action of a person depends upon quality of his thoughts. A person who has no respect and concern for his mother, motherland, parents, women and the people around him cannot extend the same to any other woman or human being nor as a parent can he cultivate those values in his word."

It, therefore, allowed the Petition and directed the Respondent couple to hand over the child's custody to the Petitioner.

Read the Order Here