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Cannot Force Mother To Choose Between Child And Career: Bombay High Court

There has never been anything quite so special as the love between a daughter and her father, but no court can refuse the career prospects of a woman, the Bombay High Court has held.

The court made this observation while allowing a woman, who is embroiled in a matrimonial dispute with her husband, to relocate to Poland along with her minor daughter.

A single bench of Justice Bharati Dangre in an order passed on July 8, a copy of which was made available on Wednesday, allowed the mother to take her nine-year-old daughter to Poland, but directed her to give physical and virtual access of the girl to her father.

The woman had approached the high court seeking permission to relocate and shift along with her daughter to Krakow in Poland, where she has got a job opportunity. The woman and her husband are embroiled in a matrimonial dispute.

The man opposed the plea claiming that if the child is moved away from him then he would get to see her again and further said that the situation in Poland is volatile given the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.

“There has never been, nor will there ever be, anything quite so special as the love between a daughter and her father,” Justice Dangre noted.

The judge added that on the one hand is a father, who is pained with the idea of his daughter relocating, while on the other is a woman, who wants to take up a job to advance her career.

The court noted that till date the custody of the girl was with the mother, who has single-handedly raised the child and considering the girl’s age, it is important that she must accompany her mother.

“I do not think that the court can refuse the job prospects to a mother, who is inclined to take up the job and she cannot be deprived of this opportunity. Necessarily, a balance has to be drawn between the interests of both the mother and father and also look at the welfare of the child,” Justice Dangre said.

The petitioner is the mother of the child and has been continuously with the child since her birth and though a working woman, has struck a balance between her work and care and affection of the child and ensured that she enjoys a healthy upbringing, the court said.

The court also refused to accept the husband’s contention that the girl would feel anxious if uprooted now to a foreign country. “It is not uncommon for children to shift along with their parents. It is also not uncommon for a working woman to leave her child in a day-care facility, on account of her responsibilities,” Justice Dangre said.

The court further said that in the present case, the woman’s mother would also be shifting to take care of the child.

The bench directed the woman to bring the child to India during her holidays in school there in Poland and give physical access to her father and also virtual access daily.

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