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The Bombay High Court grants custody of a 3 year old US citizen to the father, holding that the mother had illegally detained the child by not returning him to native country.



Bombay High Court grants custody of a 3 year old US citizen to the father,

A Habeas Corpus petition was filed by the father of the child, who is a US citizen by birth, seeking directions against the mother of the child to restore custody of the child to the father who is settled and based out of the US. The mother and father of the child both are citizens of India, however they are permanent residents of the US.

The court noted that the father had taken prompt action to locate his son after he was denied access on his first birthday. He filed a complaint to the US Embassy alleging inter parental abduction and initiated legal proceedings. This cannot be said to be hasty, the court held.

The Court noted that despite being served with notices and proceedings, the mother did not contest the US court's orders, nor did she challenge them in any way. The court opined that the proceedings initiated by the mother in India seem to be an afterthought aimed at preventing the father from taking the child back to the US as there were no prior complaints of physical or mental abuse.

The court observed that repatriating the child to the US would offer better future prospects for him due to all the educational, social and medical benefits available there. The child's age being just three and a half years old, the natural process of grooming in the environment of the native country is essential for comprehensive development, the court noted.



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