The Centre was asked to respond to the public seeking the reforms on shared parenting after the case of divorce or separated parents by the Supreme Court.
The bench comprising of Justice S A Bobde and B R Gavai said “ issue notice” to the Centre for the joint parenting of the child even after the separation, divorce, marital disputes or unmarried parents so that the child can maintain a healthy relationship with both his or her parents.
The bench said “it is a very noble cause but what can the court do in this case” adding that it was the responsibility of the Parliament to work on it.
Due to increase in the rate of divorce and separation the children’s rights should be secured, as the child is the most affected by this and there is a possibility that the neglecting of the needs of the child, said the advocate Rajiv Mangla who filed the plea.
The plea said “The emotional, social and physical development of children has a direct effect
Various researches and the Indian Courts agree on that the end of marriage is not the end of the responsibility of being parents added the plea.
The existing Acts including the Hindu minority and Guardianship act, the Guardians and Wards act and Juvenile Justice Act are more about who will get custody of the child rather than focusing on the needs of a child while growing up.
The plea sought direction from the courts, CWCs, National and State Commission of Protection of Child Rights to get the child rights for shared parenting within the time period from the date when the issue is raised with the authorities.
CWC are “not recognising the rights of children in perspective of alienated children. the courts overburdened with the custody cases and the family issues whereas CWC is keeping a close eye towards the issue, which in fact lies under the Juvenile Justice Act.”
It was further sought the women’s cell, police stations and NGO to guide the parents to approach family court or CWCs within 7 days to submit the proof to the referring authority stating the child is not able to maintain a healthy relation or direct contact with anyone of the parents
A shared parenting agreement was to be enforced by the guidelines issued by CWCs within a period of 90 days from the date of Inception of the cause before the authority.