HC gives father teen sons’ custody, says kids used to US life
CHENNAI: Observing that two teenagers who are US citizens by birth are living in an environment alien to them in India, a division bench of Madras High Court directed the mother to give custody of the 14-year-old boys to their father who is living in Virginia.
The bench comprising Justice PN Prakash and Justice N Anand Venkatesh passed the orders on allowing a habeas corpus filed by the father of the twins, a US resident. According to him, his wife came to India along with the children to meet her parents in December 2020 and didn’t return.
Hearing both sides, Justice Anand Venkatesh opined the best interest of the children can be ensured only if they return to their native country, the US.
“The children, who are naturalised American citizens, were brought up in the social and cultural milieu of the US and are accustomed to the lifestyle, language, customs, rules, and regulations of their native country and will have better avenues and prospects only if they return to the US. The children have not developed roots in India and hence, no harm will be caused to them if they return to the US,” the court held.
The judges further added that both the children studied in a Montessori schooling system till Class 7 in the US and were exposed to several activities like swimming, chess, music, basketball, and others.
“Here, the teenagers are having access to only online classes,” the High Court observed.
“That apart, all the other activities in which these children were involved till 2020, have come to a grinding halt,” it further said.
Pointing out a judgment already passed by a US court in favour of the petitioner, the HC directed the respondent/wife to grant custody of the boys to her husband within eight weeks.
The teen boys are living in an environment alien to them in India, the court observed