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Matrimonial Lawyer: The custody of the child cannot be retained as a matter of right by the relative, even if they took care of the child after mother's death: SC.

Supreme Court of India

Justice R. Banumati

It was held by the Apex Court that the father is natural guardian as per Sec 6 of the HIndu Minority and Guardianship Act and merely because the appellants being the relative took care of the child for some time, they cannot retain the custody of the child.

In the said case the custody of the child was with sister of mother of the child as the mother died on 17/10/2018. The husband was denied the custody, therefore, the husband filed the Writ of Habeus Corpus, which was allowed by the High Court. As the child was only 1.5 years of age and was not able to tell his choice, and the husband never abandoned the child nor has deprived the child of a right to his love and affection. The right to custody of the husband was upheld.

In the said case titled as "Tejaswini Gaud & Ors. Vs. Shekhar Jagdish", the circumstances were such due to illness of parents, the appellants had to take care of the child for some time. It was held welfare of the child is of paramount consideration. While dismissing the appeal, the visitation rights were granted to the appellants for certain period.

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