CHILD Right’s – needs protection. Nation’s future depends upon today’s children.
The recent trend in the society is seeing a paradigm change in the matrimonial relationship. The numbers of divorce cases are rising, resulting in rise of bitter child custody battles leading to a single parent society.
Innocent children are used as tools of vengeance by vindictive litigants affecting the child’s psyche, adverse effects of which surface in child’s later part of life. Often one of the partners suffers from a personality disorder and/or adjustment disorder which can be easily diagnosed through psychological evaluation. Under Section 12 of the Family Courts Act, 1984, the Court is empowered to secure the services of medical experts; however, the family Court rarely uses the same, should it not be mandatory for the family Court to conduct a psychiatric / psychological evaluation of both the parents including the child. A common practice followed in US courts while deciding child custody.
A serious need is felt for approaching the Hon’ble high Court in order to set proper guidelines for the Family Courts; a scientific systematic approach to dispose off cases is the requirement of the day.
Presently, even the Legal system, bureaucrats, politicians and statutory agencies for child welfare, NGO’s etc., have forgotten or missed to appreciate or understand child rights, the immense emotional trauma the child undergoes due to lack of love and affection from both the parents. Alienation of the child consequently affects in the later part of the child’s life such as drug abuse, deteriorating educational achievement, premature sexuality, mental/personality disorder, chronic depression, suicidal tendency, out of wed-lock birth, and often a major force behind serious crimes. There is an urgent need to establish well defined framework and guidelines for family courts and the counselors to implement while deciding the custody of the children. Otherwise what kind of future society/generation are we going to create?
Needless, to say today’s youth are going to be leaders & thinkers of tomorrow. The Nation’s future depends upon today’s children. Hence, immediate intervention of higher courts is a must.
We would like to bring specific focus to Article 39(e) & (f), which lays down that, the state shall direct its Policy in such a manner that the tender age of children is not abused and children are given opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and childhood is protected against exploitation and against moral and material abandonment.
While granting custody (interim or final),why court should not ensure weekend access at home and sharing of vacation (50%) to non custodial parent besides access during major festivals, family functions, birthdays etc., at the initial stage itself while deciding custody/ access to save court’s as well as litigants valuable time. Besides, why court not ensure non custodial parent to attend school events like PTA, sports, annual day, in selection of school, extra curricular classes, family doctor etc. since both parents are responsible for welfare & interest of the child.
Whether the Family court is not bound to act immediately while deciding the child’s custody if admitted or discovered that the custodial parent is involved in immoral profession such as prostitution or drug abuse/trafficking or pedophile etc?
Whether court counselor is not duty bound to counsel child to ensure access especially in case of bad tutoring against the non custodial parent rather than being indifferent or a mute spectator. Role of the counselor in family courts have to be defined and reviewed.
Often it is observed that courts while dealing with custody cases, are considering themselves to be neither bound by statutes nor by the rules of evidence nor procedure nor by precedents and are being swayed by their personal emotions. Can India afford to be subjective about the development of our future generation?
“Justice F. I. Rebello of the Bombay High Court has suggested on 07/10/2009 that the concept of child custody must be adopted from the West where divorce is an everyday phenomenon and yet children are not scared as they get to see both parents through shared access.
Eminent Psychiatrist Dr. Yusuf Matcheswalla on 08/10/2009 who was the guest at Family Court Bandra during the completion of 20yrs. had in fact stated that the shared parenting is best for the child and the child should get love and affection of both parents equally. He had also stated as an experience that even a drunk person necessarily cannot be a bad father. “
“Child Rights Foundation” is a NGO set up to take up issues relating to the rights of the child by invoking the constitutional remedies available under the law. It is a non-profit voluntary organization involved in providing solutions to promote, ensure, highlight and protect the rights of the child.