Posted On Tuesday, August 14, 2012 at 09:14:35 AM
A division bench of the High Court on Monday ruled that two minor children would live with their father and their maternal grandparents would have the rights to only visit them. Though that should have been the end of the case, both families got into an ugly spat outside the court and almost came to blows in the presence of the children.
After the court ruled that the custody of the children — aged four and six — be given to the father, the grandmother snatched one of the kids and ran out of the courtroom. Right outside the court hall, the father tried to snatch the kid from the grandmother.
She resisted, and before things could get worse, a police sentry stepped in. The warring parties moved their altercation a little distance away. The father then left but his brother continued to argue with the grandmother.
Their counsels tried to pacify them, and it was agreed that the child would be handed over to the father immediately. However, abuses continued to flow freely. They were warned by the police on duty once again.
When advocates and other clients told them that they could get into trouble with court authorities if they continued to fight there, all of them came out and gathered near the Mark Cubbon statue, which is inside the court’s security perimeter.
Just when everyone thought that the matter was over, tempers flared up again and two of them almost came to blows. Finally, they stood on either side of the road and continued the tirade. In the end, the grandmother let go of the child she was holding, and the child ran towards his father’s family on the other side of the road.
The kids’ maternal grandmother had filed a habeas corpus petition contending that the children were kept in illegal confinement by their father. The children’s mother is dead and they have been living with their father for the last two years.
The children were presented in court along with their father and other relatives. The maternal grandmother, her son and others were also present. The judges told both the parties to set aside their differences and noted that children were not things or properties that they should fight over this way.
They noted that, at this juncture, the father was the guardian and the grandmother or others could not be given custody. However, the father was told that the grandmother and other relatives should be given the opportunity, without bias, to visit the children.