Woman ticks HC Judge off for 'making' her nine-year-old son cry
Thursday, November 03, 2011 at 12:39:42 AM
The boy, whose parents are separated, started sobbing when the judge told the kid that he should spend time with his father. If he did not follow the order — or stop crying — “we will send you to the police station.” The sobbing continued for more than an hour outside the court
A mother took on a High Court judge on Wednesday for trying to scare her nine-year-old son into spending his weekends and holidays with his father and threatening him with jail if he didn’t.
Justice N K Patil and Justice C R Kumaraswamy were hearing a case between Raja Lakshmi and Subraya Manja over the custody of their son and were trying to convince the woman to send her son to meet his father on weekends and school holidays. The boy, however, started crying when he heard this.
“We are telling you to meet your father on the last Saturday and Sunday of the month and half of the vacation. If you don’t, we will send you to the police station. Your father has the same affection for you. Do not act like this. He is your father, he is also human. Your father is not your enemy. You can meet him once in a month,” Justice Patil told the boy.
On seeing the boy’s tears, he said, “We are not disturbing your stay with your mother. You can stay with her, but meet your father also. If not, we will send you permanently with your father.”
By this time, the boy was howling loudly, saying, “Please, please.”
But Justice Patil told the boy, “If you cry, we will send you to jail. Is it not your duty to tell your mother that you want to meet your father and discuss things with him?”
The judge then turned to the mother’s counsel: “It is your duty to tell your client that she should let the boy meet his father.
Otherwise, you will kill the future of the child. If you people cannot arrive at a compromise, we will pass an order as per the facts of the case. We are tired of such things. Unless we pass the order, you won’t understand the trouble.”
The couple had separated after a year of marriage and have been living apart for 10 years now. A lower court had ordered for the restitution of conjugal rights but Lakshmi had refused to go back to her husband.
During Wednesday’s hearing, Justice Patil asked both the parties to talk to each other and arrive at a compromise. But their counsel said that the couple was not on talking terms and was incompatible.
The judge said, “It is a problem they have created. If they do not talk face to face, the matter won’t be decided. Neither he nor she will be happy. Let them live together for four months and see if they can lead a compatible life. The husband may now realise the importance of a wife. Many who have made mistakes have become model citizens and better human beings.
Unfortunately, our society has not developed family counsellors.” The judge then adjourned the case for some time and asked the parties to talk to each other.
Sympathy all around
During the adjournment, the boy continued to cry outside the court as his mother tried to console him. “Amma please, let us go home. I do not want to go inside again,” the boy kept repeating. Other clients, advocates and even the policeman on duty tried to console the boy but to no avail. When the court resumed at 4.30 pm, both mother and boy stayed outside.
Manja, the boy’s father, told the court that he and his son would earlier play cricket and lagori, but his wife was not letting them meet. He told the court, “She did not even invite her father to our wedding. I earn Rs 40,000 per month and can take care of the child. I can take care of her like a queen. After marriage, the luck of her brother and sister turned for good and they kept me away. She left me nine years ago and did not come back.”
At this point, Lakshmi who was consoling her son outside the court hall, stormed in. “I was in hospital during childbirth but he did not once come to see me. He should have fed me when I was carrying. You will not understand how tough it is for a woman to become a second wife to a man. I will not go with him. I have brought up my son,” she told the court.
Justice Patil told her that her husband was repenting. She countered, “Repentance is different and leading a life is different. Even I will repent, but how will anyone understand how I agreed to become his second wife and how badly he treated me. He used me like a worker. For two years, he produced xerox copies in court, showing that he had sent me alimony. But he didn’t.
He should have fed me when the child was born. Why else would the child fear going with him? After you scared him, he is still crying after one hour.”
After this outburst, the court sent both of them out of the court and read out the judgment. It ordered that since the child was of a tender age, he should not be deprived of the love and affection of both the parents. It ordered that the boy spend the last weekend of every month and half his vacations with the father. “Tell your client to motivate the child to meet the father, otherwise he will get full custody,” the judge told the mother’s advocate.