Mumbai News

Can’t force mom to choose between kid & career: Bombay HC – Times of India

MUMBAI: Observing that a mother “cannot be asked to choose between her child and her career” and a family court failed to consider that an estranged mother was vested with the right to development, the Bombay HC allowed a woman to take her minor daughter to Poland where she has been offered a senior position, reports Swati Deshpande.
The mother, an engineer, has been residing separately with her nine-year-old child since 2015. HC directed the father to give his no objection. “Considering her age, the girl must accompany her mother”, it said, adding “I don’t think the court can refuse the job prospects to a mother”.
HC to mom: Get kid to India to meet dad
Allowing a woman estranged from her husband to take her daughter to Poland where she has been offered a senior position, Bombay HC observed that the mother, an engineer, “has struck a balance between her work and care and affection of the child and ensured that she enjoys a healthy upbringing”.
The HC said, “The custody of the minor girl is with the mother, who is the natural guardian, and considering her age, the girl must accompany her mother, particularly when it is the case of the petitioner (wife) that she has single-handedly brought up the child, on being separated from the husband.”
The father, who has child access and visitation rights, too is “naturally concerned about the child’s welfare” and in the “conundrum” they face, “I do not think that the court can refuse the job prospects to a mother… and she cannot be deprived of this opportunity,” said Justice Bharati Dangre in her July 8 order.
The mother had moved HC and through her counsel Abhijit Sarwate sought permission to relocate to Krakow, Poland, with her child, for two years. Sarawate said the “right to development is a basic human right, which is recognised” by Supreme Court and cannot be denied to the mother. She undertook to give access to the father and take her mother, child’s maternal grandmother, to Poland.
Justice Dangre said the father, represented by counsel Mayur Khandeparkar, is “pained” by his daughter’s relocation, while the wife is desperate to take the job in Poland given her excellent career graph. She added the issue “is very sensitive considering the deep love both parents have” for the child. HC said the husband’s suggestion that he and his family would take care of the child in India is “not viable” as the girl has always lived with her mother, barring a few hours exclusively in his company.
It added, “At the same time, the child has a strong bond with the father…” It directed vacation overnight access to the father in India and unsupervised access if he travels to Poland. HC clarified the mother “shall bring the child to India on her own expenses, during all the three breaks”. The father’s advocate Ajinkya Udane said they will file an appeal before SC.