covid: Courtroom Grants Covid Orphan’s Custody To Aunt | Ahmedabad Information

AHMEDABAD: He was just six years old when Covid orphaned him, claiming both his parents, one after the other, during the devastating second wave last year. Then, his paternal grandparents dragged his maternal grandparents to court for his custody. When the two failed to get along with each other for the sake of the child, the Gujarat high court on Monday granted the child’s custody to his maternal aunt who had helped his parents and taken care of the 6-year-old during their time of need.
The boy’s father died on May 13 while his mother passed away on June 12 last year. Following their demise, the paternal grandparents filed a habeas corpus petition claiming the child’s custody from his maternal grandparents.
Looking at the tragedy that had befallen both families, the high court tried to find an amicable solution and permitted both the families to have the child’s custody for a few days. The court also ordered both families to mingle for the sake of the child. However, the families did not resolve their dispute and the HC heard the case on its merits.
During the hearing, the maternal grandparents’ lawyer submitted that the paternal family had objected to the couple’s marriage due to caste differences. The paternal side had not attended the wedding and had never accepted their relationship, he submitted.
The lawyer added that the couple faced an issue with accommodation, and though the paternal grandparents lived in Ahmedabad, the wife’s sister allowed them to stay at her house. Even when the couple fell ill, she bore the expenditure of their hospitalization and took care of the child while they were under treatment, and even after their death, he told the court.
Ordering the child’s custody to remain with the maternal aunt, the bench of Justice Sonia Gokani and Justice Mauna Bhatt said, “Though we did feel that both the parties would have understood the importance of life after having lost respective family members at a young age, Neither side was ready to let go. Hence, we have adjudicated the matter, keeping in mind the best interest of the corpus (child).”
The judges placed aside the emotional appeals of both sides and said that when it comes to the future of the child “sentiments expressed by both sides alone may not act as a guiding factor”. Granting the child’s custody to either of them would not make any difference, the court said. It added that both the families are economically sound, but the maternal aunt is unmarried, 46 years old, and does not have any other family responsibility. The court felt that the aunt would be well suited to attend to the child’s needs and take care of his education as well.
The high court has permitted the paternal grandparents to visit the child twice a month and talk to him on video calls. The child may stay at their place during vacation and holidays. However, the paternal grandparents live alone in Ahmedabad, while the aunt lives in a joint family in Dahod, which is more conducive for the child to grow up, it stated.

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