Grandparents better choice for kid’s custody: SC | India News

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday said paternal grandparents should be preferred while granting custody of a minor child after the demise of his/her parents as they can take care of the kid better than other relatives who also may have sought custody, and quashed a Gujarat high court order granting custody of a boy to his maternal aunt. The child had lost his parents in the second Covid wave.
A vacation bench of Justices M R Shah and Aniruddha Bose said grandparents are emotionally more attached to grandchildren than their own children and can take better care of the child despite old age. The court quashed the Gujarat high court’s order granting the custody of a five-year-old boy to his maternal aunt, while turning down the plea of his grandparents for custody. The child had lost his parents in the second wave of the Covid pandemic.
The HC had passed the order in the favour of the maternal aunt on the assumption that she was better suited to take care of the child because of the old age of grandparents, who were 71 and 63 years old, and she had a better source of income and also because she was living in a joint family.
Disagreeing with the HC order, the apex court said that reasons/grounds given by the HC may be relevant but not germane and there cannot be any presumption that the maternal aunt being unmarried having an independent income; younger than the paternal grandparents and having a bigger family would take better care than the paternal grandparents.
“In our society still the paternal grandparents would always take better care of their grandson. One should not doubt the capacity and/or ability of the paternal grandparents to take care of their grandson. It is said that the grandparents love the interest rather than the principle. Emotionally also the grandparents will always take better care of their grandson,” the apex court said.
The court also noted that the grandparents were living in Ahmedabad where the child will get a better education while his aunt was living in Dahod, a tribal area. The SC also took into consideration that being a retired person, the paternal grandparents would devote more time and take care of the minor better than the aunt who is serving as a government employee.
“Income and/or the age and/or the bigger family cannot be the sole criteria to tilt the balance and not to give the custody of the grandson to the paternal grandparents. At the cost of repetition, it is observed that neither the high court has observed anything against the grandparents that they have not taken proper care of the minor grandson during interim custody or they acted detrimental to the interest of the minor,” the bench said.

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