Vikram Vir Vohra v/s. Shalini Bhalla

The court held that the matters relating to the custody of the child are sensitive in nature and are to be dealt with utmost care. This is the reason why custody orders are considered as interlocutory orders.

Vikram Vir Vohra v/s. Shalini Bhalla

Civil Appeal No- 2704 of 2010

Before the Supreme Court of India

Bench: G.S. Singhvi, Ashok Kumar Ganguly

Author: Justice Ashok Ganguly

Delivered on: March 25, 2010.

Relevant Acts:

  • Hindu Marriage Act, 1955- Section 26, Section 13-B

Cases Referred:

  • Mausami Moitra Ganguli v/s. Jayant Ganguli (2008) 7 SCC 673, para 19, page 678 (UPHELD)
  • In Rosy Jacob vs. Jacob A Chakramakkal (1973) 1 SCC 840 (UPHELD)
  • Dhanwanti Joshi vs. Madhav Unde (1998) 1 SCC 112 (UPHELD)
  • Gaurav Nagpal vs. Sumedha Nagpal (2009) 1 SCC 42 (UPHELD)
  • Thrity Hoshie Dolikuka vs. Hoshiam Shavaksha Dolikuka AIR 1982 SC 1276 (UPHELD)

Brief Facts:

  • The parties in the present case were married on 10.12.2000 according to the Hindu rites.
  • A child named master Shivam was born to them on 5th August
  • Because of some irreconcilable difference they had agreed to divorce by mutual consent under section 13-B of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.
  • A decree of divorce was passed by the Additional District Judge, Delhi on 5th September 2006.
  • With regards to the custody of the child, they had some settlement,
    • The custody will remain with mother
    • Child will be with the father once in the fortnight i.e. from 10 AM to 6:30 PM on Saturday
    • In case the mother changes the address or takes the child outside Delhi, she would inform the father one week in advance
    • All the claims of mother and child are settled by father
  • Then an application was filed under section 26 of the Hindu Marriage Act to modify the terms and conditions of the custody

Procedural History: The additional District Judge and the Delhi High Court, both, permitted the respondent wife to take the child with her to Australia. The husband has now approached the Supreme Court.

Argument of the respondent:

  • She wanted to take the child to Australia where she was employed for gain revoke the visitation rights of the father
  • This was conducive to the paramount interest of child and his welfare

Argument of the appellant:

  • Sought permanent custody of the child under changed circumstances
  • Not in the interest of the child to leave India permanently

Held:

  • The appeal is dismissed, and the child is to stay with the mother.

Ratio:

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