Libertatem Magazine

Chandrakala vs. Vipin Menon

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Under the guardian and wards act, custody of the minor female child is with her mother.  In this case appellant, Vipin Menon filed a petition for the custody of her minor female child Soumya with him after the divorce. But the appeal was dismissed by the court and was handed over to the mother Chandrakala. However, the appellant was also granted some relief to meet his ward once a year.


On 16 June 1984, appellant Chandrakala was married to respondent Vipin Menon. On 26 August 1985, a female child named Soumya was born to them. In August 1987, they left the minor child to her maternal grandparents. A dispute arose between husband and wife and it becomes impossible for them to stay together. It was alleged by the appellant that they entered to get a divorce by mutual consent and Rs. 1,50, 000 was given to the respondent as a fixed deposit for the settlement. Parties filed a joint petition for divorce at Distt. Judge Palakkad on 3 July 1992. An application was filed by the respondent for the custody of the child under the Guardian and  Wards Act read with Hindu Minority and Guardianship ActAnother divorce petition was filed by the appellant which was pending at family court. On April 29, 1992, Soumya was residing with her grandparents, Vipin Menon came to visit her and took her to Bombay. Mr V.P.R. Nambiar the maternal grandfather complained to the police station. Magistrate took over the 

Cognizance of the matter and asked the appellant to present the child and hand over the custody to Mr V.P.R. Nambiar, otherwise, police should file a case against him and declare him as an offender. The appellant filed a petition and challenged the order of the magistrate under SEC 482 OF CrPC. High Court quashed the order of the Magistrate by reaching a finding that Vipin Menon being a natural guardian of Soumya could not be charged with the offence of kidnapping.


The issue in the case was regarding the custody of the minor child after the divorce. 


After observing the circumstances, the court said there is no scope of settlement between husband and wife and there is no chance to get them together. Husband and wife are living separately for the last year and the petition was also pending from July 3, 1992. Decree of divorce under SEC 13B of Hindu marriage act, 1955 for the dissolution of marriage was granted.

Court handed over the custody of minor child Soumya to her mother Chandrakala. Once in a year, Chandrakala was asked to bring Soumya to India so that Vipin Menon could accompany her daughter. Vipin Menon is at liberty to meet her daughter in America whenever he likes also if Chandrakala cannot bring her daughter to India once a year she shall arrange someone for the same. Special leave was granted. The application for custody being Case G & WC No. 42 of 1992 filed by Vipin Menon under Guardian and Wards Act read with Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act before Family Court Bangalore shall stand disposed of in terms of our order. 


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