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Paternal aunt and her husband has been appointed as the guardians of a nine year old child by the bombay high court. The court further asked the biological mother of the child that before filing for custody she is required to develop a bond with the child.
Justice SC Gupte has directed the paternal aunt and her husband to facilitate the skype calls and other modes of electronic communication between the child and his mother, who lives in Nashville. The court has directed to arrange the calls after the school hours of the child and during the week-offs and vacation. The court further added that the frequency and duration of calls is to be amicably decided by both the parties.
The court said after the bond is developed between the child and the mother, the mother can apply for the custody subject to the child is willing to stay with her out of his own will.
The child’s biological father is a NRI and the child came to India in January 2010. The child was brought in accordance with the practice belonging to the Patel community. The practice is followed to help children understand their roots by staying in India till they attain the school going age.
Owing to the above practice the child was sent to live with his paternal aunt and her husband but during his stay the father of child was diagnosed with cancer and he came to India in April 2014 for treatment and died. The mother of the child due to the personal reasons stayed in US at that time thus leaving the child to stay with her aunt.
In 2015 the child’s aunt and uncle approached the court to be appointed as the guardian of the child as they wanted to admit the child in the school. The court granted them the status of guardian and child was admitted in an ICSE school in Goregaon.
The Plea of the paternal aunt was opposed by the biological mother of the child but was refused by another judge of Bombay HC on the ground that a child cannot be plucked from one country and planted in another.