Parental Control Different From Illegal Custody: Madras HC [Read Judgment]

Parental Control Different From Illegal Custody: Madras HC [Read Judgment]

The High Court of Madras recently upheld the decisions of the Courts which supported the view that parental authority, barring a few exceptions, would “out of bounds for a writ court, because it is exercised for the ultimate benefit of the ward.”

“According to the petitioner, he is sister's son of respondent No.3. In the light of the decisions stated supra, vis-a-vis parent and sister's son rights, this court deems it recognise the right of a parent. At this juncture, it is to be noted that it is the specific case of the father that she would continue her studies in Germany for the next two years and thereafter, her future would be decided (sic),” the bench comprising Justice S. Manikumar and Justice M. Govindaraj observed.

The Court was hearing a Writ Petition of habeas corpus filed against the father of a B.Tech graduate, alleging that her father had taken her in illegal custody, and had fixed her marriage against her wishes.  The father had, however, denied such allegations, claiming that the daughter was, in fact, pursuing further studies in Germany at the moment.

Refusing to grant the Writ, the Bench referred to the decision of Kerala High Court in the case of Dr. Lal Parameshwar v. Ullas N.N. Nadupurakkal and Ors., wherein the Court had observed, “We cannot accept as a general principle that the parents are in all circumstances, bound to concede absolute decisional autonomy to their children, even if they have attained majority and remain helpless even in situations where their wards have taken wrong and immature decisions, which will be disastrous not only to the wards themselves but also to the family itself.”

This decision was later followed by Madurai Bench of Madras High Court in the case of M. Senthil Muthu v. The Superintendent of Police, Dindigul District and Ors.

Read the Judgment here.