Read Judgment: Kinri Dhir vs. Veer Singh 

Pankaj Bajpai

New Delhi, March 25, 2022: In a case pertaining to the visitation and custody rights of a 3- year-old minor child, the Delhi High Court has observed that the visitation hours given to the putative father (respondent) by the Trial Court for two hours daily might not be conducive for the child of that tender age and has directed that the father shall have visitation rights on alternate weekdays.

The Single Judge V. Kameswar Rao observed that respondent shall ensure the safety and well-being of the child and ensure that necessary COVID-19 protocols are maintained and the child is not exposed by non-essential outings to public places. 

The observation came pursuant to a petition seeking setting aside of order passed by the Principal Judge, Family Court, Saket, New Delhi, to the extent that the respondent (Veer Singh – father) has been granted visitation rights of the minor child for two hours every day. 

It is the case of Kinri Dhir (petitioner – mother) that the Trial Court has erred in partially allowing the respondent’s application filed u/s 12 of the Guardian and Wards Act, 1890 (GWA) r/w/s 6(a) and 6(b) of the Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956 (HMGA) r/w/s 151 CPC. It is the stand of the petitioner that the respondent, who is the father of the minor child has admitted himself to be a putative father.

After considering the submissions, Justice Rao found that the respondent, being a putative father shall be entitled to visitation rights, and while determining and granting such rights, more so when the child is of less than three years of age, surely his well-being and welfare is of paramount importance. 

At the same time, the minor must not be insulated from parental touch and influence of the other parent for healthy growth of child and development of his personality, added the Single Judge. 

Justice Rao highlighted that there cannot be any dispute as held by the Supreme Court in Amyra Dwivedi v. Abhinav Dwivedi & Anr. , (2021) 4 SCC 698, that the child has a right to love and affection of both the parents which supersedes the privilege of having access to the child of both the parents. 

The High Court found from the record that when the impugned order was passed, the respondent was residing at the same premises where the petitioner is also staying, and the Trial Court has granted the benefit of visitation to the respondent for meeting the minor child in the said property only.

The High Court therefore disposed of the petition and concluded that respondent shall not take the child out of the territorial limits of the Courts in Delhi, and shall have unsupervised visitation rights to the child.

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