Coronavirus: Bombay High Court quashes man's plea for son's custody to protect him from infection

Updated: 16 April, 2020 18:38 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Mumbai

The father said that the boy's mother and her family stay in a chawl in Girgaum, where residents use the same toilet, making him prone to the virus through surface contact

Bombay High Court
Bombay High Court

The Bombay High Court rejected a petition filed a man for his seven-year-old son's custody to protect him from the novel Coronavirus infection as he established that his estranged wife and her family stay in a chawl and share a common bathroom. The court observed that there is no reason to disbelieve that a 'natural mother of a child' would not guard him from the pandemic, The Times of India reported.

The petition filed by the 43-year-old man was heard by the Justice Ravi Deshpande  through video conference in a pending petition filed by the mother of the boy, challenging the permission granted to him by the family court in December 2018 to visit him on weekends. The estranged couple stay in south Mumbai.

The father said that the boy's mother and her family stay in a chawl in Girgaum, where residents use the same toilet, making him prone to the virus through surface contact. "There is no sanitation. I am concerned about my son catching infection. His mother will not be able to take care of him and protect him," he argued.

The man also alleged that social distancing is not practiced in the chawl as people constantly visit each other's homes. He further requested the court that as he stays in a 1,500 sq.ft flat with a private toilet, he should be given his son's custody till the lockdown gets over.

Hearing the man's plea, Justice Deshpande asks him how he could say that the mother of the child cannot take care of him. Noting that there was no urgency in the matter, he said, "there is no reason to disbelieve that the natural mother of the child would not take care of the child properly."

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First Published: 16 April, 2020 11:20 IST

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