Read Order:A. Shaamsudeen Raja Vs. Raneesha P.V 

Tulip Kanth

Chennai, June 17, 2022: In a custody matter, the Madras High Court has recently set aside an order of the Single Judge where the Judge had dismissed the petition filed for the appointment of the father as the guardian the minor male child, without affording an opportunity to the parties to let in oral and documentary evidences.

Disfavoring the way in which a sensitive matter was handled by the Single Judge, the Division Bench of Justice M.Duraiswamy and Justice Sunder Mohan asserted, “It is settled law that while deciding the Original Petition to appoint the guardian the courts should allow the party to let in oral and documentary evidences.” 

The original petition in question had been filed by the appellant-husband under sections 3, 7 to 10 and section 25 of the Guardian and Wards Act r/w Order XXI Rule 2 and 3 of the Original side Rules for grant of permanent custody of the minor male child Armaan Marzuq born in 2017 and to appoint him as the guardian to the minor male child.The Single Judge, by an order, dismissed the Original Petition finding that the Criminal Miscellaneous Petition filed by the respondent-wife before the First Class Magistrate was dismissed for the reason that the petition was not properly contested by the respondent-husband.

Observing that the Single Judge was required to let in oral and documentary evidence while considering the original petition, the Bench on this ground alone, set aside the order passed by the Single Judge.

On hearing the request of both the parties that a time limit may be fixed for the disposal of the Original Petition, the Bench remitted the matter back to the Single Judge to decide the matter afresh after affording the parties to let in oral and documentary evidence and requested the Judge to dispose of the Original Petition as expeditiously as possible, preferably, within a period of four months.

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