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Extramarital affair no ground to presume woman would be a bad mother or to deny child custody: Punjab & Haryana HC

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has held that to have an extramarital affair is insufficient evidence to determine that a woman is a terrible mother or that she should be deprived custody of her kid. 

Justice Anupinder Singh Grewal made the remarks, adding that it is very usual in patriarchal societies to cast aspersions on women’s moral integrity. 

In addition, the court had a progressive stance on solo parenting, particularly by mothers. The judge stated that while the court has encouraged the couple to reconcile, it does not imply that a kid raised by a single parent would be at a disadvantage. Justice Grewal made the statement in response to a habeas corpus petition filed by an Australian mother seeking the release of her four-year-old daughter from her divorced husband’s custody. During the hearing, the petitioner’s spouse claimed that the petitioner was having an adulterous affair with his relative. 

The claims, according to Justice Grewal, were totally baseless and could not be used to decide the case. The child’s growth in the formative years would necessitate the mother’s love, care, and devotion. During adolescence, the mother’s support and direction are equally essential. In any event, according to Section 6 of the Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956, the mother was the child’s natural guardian until the age of five.

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