Mumbai: Children would obviously walk out on parents if they do not behave well with them. This was the observation made by the Bombay High Court while dealing with a father’s plea seeking to meet his 17-year-old daughter, who had left home, after appearing for her SSC exams.
A division bench of Justice Satyaranjan Dharmadhikari and Justice Prakash Naik made the observations after perusing a confidential note (the contents of which were not revealed to anyone) written by the girl in which she had mentioned the reason for her leaving home. In it, she had also expressed her desire to not return to her parents.
Having perused the note, Justice Dharmadhikari said, “We think no children would ever leave their parents on their own. However, we believe, if parents do not know how to behave well with their children then it is obvious that the kids would leave. This is an unfortunate case wherein the girl has expressed her desire to not return to her parents. You (father) cannot seek her custody now. First, learn how to behave with children. Since the girl has refused to live with you, we, therefore, believe no court can force her to come back to your house.”
The judges were hearing a habeas corpus writ filed by a Thane-based man seeking directions to the Dombivali police to produce his minor daughter. The man contended that his daughter had left his house in August 2017 and since then had not returned. He claimed that one of their family friends have influenced his daughter and hatched a conspiracy to kidnap her.
Pursuant to this plea, the judges had earlier directed the police to trace the girl and on a previous hearing, the girl was found in the custody of an NGO. The judges had then adjourned the matter till Friday directing the police to record the girl’s statement to check if she wants to continue living with her parents.
However, on Friday, the girl addressed a letter to the judges through public prosecutor J P Yagnik claiming she would not return home. During the course of hearing, advocate Yagnik informed the judges that the girl is already in trauma and, in addition, the mother has been forcing her to meet her. Even the father had sought permission to meet the daughter. “We do not propose to allow you to meet the girl since she is already in trauma. The biggest punishment for parents like you is to seek permission from the child to meet,” Justice Dharmadhikari remarked. Posting the matter for further hearing on April 23, the judges asked advocate Yagnik to reproduce statements of the minor girl on an affidavit.