Hyderabad: A father cannot be deprived of visitation rights to his children or their temporary custody on the ground that he lived alone and consumed alcohol in the children’s presence making them fall ill, the Telangana High Court has ruled.
Dealing with an appeal from a mother who sought to stay a Khammam district court order permitting the father’s custody of two children during the entire school vacations, including holidays, a division bench comprising Justice Raghavendra Singh Chauhan and Justice T. Amarnath Goud refused the mother’s plea and said the father had equal rights to enjoy the company of his kids.
“Needless to say, the father has as much right to have the company of his children as the mother. After all, the child needs to have the company of both the parents,” the bench emphasised.
The bench refused the reasons submitted by the mother that the minor children had fallen ill while in their father’s custody and that no one was present to take their care, as the father lived alone, and also that he was employed and attended to work.
The bench also clarified that mere allegations that the father was an alcoholic and serves hotel-cooked food to the children during custody cannot be grounds to disqualify him custody of the children.
Azmeera Srinivas and Kalpana, the separated couple, have two minor children. The Khammam district court had given permanent custody of the two minor children to their mother and interim custody during vacations and holidays to the father.
Aggrieved by this order, Kalpana had approached the high court, seeking to modify the district court’s order and limit visitation rights given to the father. The high court dismissed her plea.