The Bombay High Court has directed family court judges to adopt a more sensitive and humane approach when dealing with issues of counselling for children of warring parents.
The court slammed one family court judge for “terrifying” a mother by imposing five harsh consequences including her arrest and shifting custody of a teenager to his estranged father if she failed to take the son to a counsellor as directed a year ago.
“It is high time that the Judges of the Family Court who are confronted with such issues day in and day out and who are required to exercise the jurisdiction vested in them adopt an approach of sensitivity, judicious consideration of the circumstances and a humane approach in passing such orders,” said Justice Girish Kulkarni while disposing a petition last month. A woman had moved HC against the order of the Mumbai family court passed last July in a plea made a year earlier, by her estranged husband.
“Parties and children before the Family Court are as it is in a disturbed state of mind, they are already suffering under the litigation. It is least expected that such judicial orders in a given situation do not add to the woes and suffering of such parties,” said the HC.
The HC said what was sought to be achieved by the family court order passed “in terrorem” (as a legal threat) was forceful presence of their son before a counsellor, without verifying his willingness.”